Movie memories: A new arrival.

by Terry Coffey

One film that really stands out in my memory is Darby O’Gill and the Little People, a 1959 Disney movie. I was seven years old and did not go to the movies much–I lived in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and you had to go all the way to Memphis to the movies, and we just didn’t do that.

My mother was pregnant with my sister, Cris, and Mom and Dad took me to a friend’s house in Memphis when Mom went into labor. Mommy and Daddy were at the hospital, and the friends took me out to see Darby O’Gill. I have vivid memories of the smell of popcorn and the incredible huge, ornate movie theatre … of walking up the carpeted steps and sitting in the darkened room. I don’t remember the exact theatre we were at–it could have been Loew’s Palace in Memphis, which was torn down in the mid-1980s.

I remember swirling green colors and a character going down a well or a hole. It could be that my life was swirling out of control at the time, too. I had been an only child for seven years, and now change was on the horizon. When we got home, my friend’s mom put me on the phone with my Dad.

I had a little sister.

Then she said we were going to celebrate and they told me I could have a beer of my very own … just half of one!

It was an exciting and frightening time, all rolled into one. And I still associate it with Darby O’Gill and the Little People.


Terry Coffey lives in Columbus, Mississippi, where she is a teacher of gifted children. Terry is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women, as are her three daughters, Lydia, Marianna, and Kaite! She sometimes tweets about classic movies at @coffeycupp1.

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