Monday, 22 October 2007
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
By Chancy at driftwoodinspiration
It was the 1930's and the medium-sized college town of 25,000 people where I lived, had three movie theaters. They were the Palace, the Strand, and the Georgian. The Palace was decidedly upscale while the Strand was sometimes referred to as the “rat hole”. The Georgian was somewhere in between.
Saturdays I was allowed to walk to town to the picture show with my best friend, Catherine, and her big brother, Dick. We were given 10 cents each by our parents. This was the admission price for children over five. Catherine and I were both six years old.
Catherine’s brother Dick was about ten and he had big ideas. He took us to Woolworth’s Five and Dime Store and Catherine and I, with Dick’s help, spent our picture show money on candy. Back then 20 cents could buy an abundance of penny candy.
Then Dick proceeded to take us to the Strand box office and when they asked how old Catherine and I were, he would answer “They are both five.”
We got in free.
We sat in the darkened theater watching Hopalong Cassidy or Gene Autry ride the canyons of the Wild West and dodge the Indians. Then the continuing serial with Buck Rogers exploring space would come on and we would catch up on last week’s cliff hanger when Buck and company were left hanging in some sort of bad trouble.
All the while during the movie we were gorging ourselves on our ill-gotten gain of candy, candy, candy. I would leave the picture show each time with a bad headache never realizing I had a sugar overload. Perhaps my conscience was bothering me also. After all, Catherine and I were willing but silent accomplices in the candy caper.
Soon the day arrived when Dick could no longer palm us off as five-year-olds and the caper ended.
We had to pony up the whole dime to get in the picture show and our halcyon days of candy, candy, candy were over.