November 10th, 2008

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Where Is Saturday?
By Richard A. Taylor, (Grn Mt Man)

Saturday. 1952.

The best day of the week when you're twelve.

You generally started making plans on the previous Saturday when the "Previews of Coming Attractions" flashed on the movie screen. Plans were finalized on Fridays on the long walk home from school. There was the unheard of luxury of three, count 'em, three movie theatres in my little home town from which to choose the days entertainment.

Children's admission, up to the grand old age of twelve, was pegged at the magnificent sum of twelve cents! Bars and boxes of gummy, chewy, chocolately tooth decay were purchased for a nickel each. I don't recall the popcorn and soda prices cause you only had to buy that stuff for girls. And, no self-respecting twelve year old would be caught dead with a girl, at the movies, on a Saturday afternoon. That time was strictly reserved for sharing with your buddies, pals, schoolmates, none of which included "those" of the opposite sex.

The movies started at 12:00 sharp, which meant leaving the house no later then 11:00, if you expected to be seated at the anointed time in your chosen seat. For the princely total of seventeen cents, mothers and fathers all over the city were paroled for about six hours every Saturday afternoon. If the children of the 50's were to count backwards from their birthdays, chances are a lot of birthdays, minus nine months, would turn out to be a SATURDAY!

For the uninformed, the Saturday movies were the morality plays of the times. The good guys always came out on top. The "Previews of Coming Attractions" served to whet your appetite for next weeks offerings. You were treated to a newsreel of current events for the second fifteen minutes followed by three cartoons of about forty-five minutes. Next, a continuing weekly serial, "Flash Gordon vs. The Moon People," occupied your attention for another thirty minutes and then, finally the good stuff. An hour and a half western followed by a war movie of similar time constraints. If you were on time, your entrance into the theater was just before noon and you emerged, sun-blinded, about four and a half hours later.

The way home was usually impeded by a trip through the alleyways separating the "Monkey Wards" store and several other city businesses. No telling what treasures were to be found in the trash bins behind every store. Long-tubed fluorescent bulbs were speared through the air to land with an explosive bang; much like the bazookas and hand grenades, tossed and fired just moments before by the Marines led by John Wayne; taking one more distant island stronghold from the enemy.

Super large cardboard boxes were next on the list of most sought after prizes to be captured from the enemy trash bins. If it was wintertime, they could be used as sleds on "Martin's Hill." Flattened out they were even better, cause the whole gang could then pile on at the same time. Those that got the choice flaps for seats were on their own when it came to the snow packed jumps we had previously constructed. Summertime saw the worthy boxes pressed into service as forts to be defended; linings for underground secret hideaways and all other manner of structures - to be defended to the death, or suppertime, which ever came first!

Saturday nights held all manner of possibilities. The streetlight in front of my house was the post for hide and seek, the south goal for night football, the meeting place to count your loot from Halloween, first base for baseball under the lights and the place where family and neighbors could see at a glance, who was unaccounted for, from their front porches.

Saturdays were magical when I was twelve.

And Tom Wolfe was wrong.

You can "go home again."

But, Saturday isn't there anymore. ~ Richard A. (Dick) Taylor

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