So many vital matters relative to sustaining life and freedom happening as our nation’s leader creates chaos, allegedly fosters corruption and insanity with too many poorly qualified incompetent subordinates, defies common sense, rejects scientific facts, appears to consider citizen lives expendable, mouths crocodile tears over health care workers for whom many believe he has not taken adequate actions to provide PPE, allows the travesty of inadequate Covid-19 tests lacking accuracy, promotes like a snake oil salesman a vaccine timeline if met could potentially have questionable reliability, is supported by politicians or legislators, not statespersons, who lack the courage to question him or their other leaders, but I will resist writing about all these matters this time.
Some aspects of life in this day of the Covid-19 virus do seem like we’re going back to the future. Remember that 1985 science fiction adventure comedy movie starring Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd? Fox is a teenager, Marty McFly, who travels back in time from 1985 to 1955 where he meets his future parents.
I recall my life in the eighties had been so harried and hectic there had been no time for my attending movies for several years. My young son began prevailing upon me to see this film saying he just knew I would like this story. So, we went to that movie which he was thoroughly enjoying seeing for the second time – he was so right – I delighted in the movie, too!
Years later, in real life, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s which may have altered his acting career, but he has continued appearing admirably in a number of entertaining TV series roles and promotes finding a cure for this disease.
My cousin’s husband, Walter Rothenbuhler, had his career -- University teaching and research in the genetics of bees for which he received international recognition -- cut short at his peak by Parkinson’s. He once told me the first indication he had a problem occurred in his speech when he was lecturing one of his classes. I still have a small piece of beeswax left that he gave my mother decades earlier when she bemoaned her sewing thread fraying and tangling during the WWII shortage due to the war effort. Walter served in the military, but during WWII, beeswax was so much in demand for coating planes and weapons that some beekeepers were deferred from service.
Walter died in 2002, his wife Claire died May 3 this year, age 95. Family who ordinarily visited many times daily sadly were no longer able to do so her final days due to the Covid-19 quarantine. I had last enjoyed a lengthy visit with her four years ago. She was the last older family member I still had living with whom to reminisce. She was warm, friendly, loving, a very accomplished person who treasured family, 4 children, and also taught chemistry when she and Walter were at Iowa State and Ohio State Universities. Claire will be remembered by many. She will be missed.
Many years after Walter died, I recall one particular patient with Parkinson’s I provided swallowing therapy who had been the recipient of a brain stimulation implant which was new then. Some benefits occurred for him and I couldn’t help wishing this had been available for my family member those years ago. Fox has had some brain surgery, is said to want no more, but later he is reported to have had spinal surgery after a fall slowing his plans to return to planned television series.
Today, some communities are going back to the future with the re-emergence of drive-in restaurants with car hops – usually young girls who deliver food and beverage orders to individual cars. Some drive-ins years ago had car hop girls on roller skates though I was never served by any skaters.
Drive-in movie theaters were once very popular, reported to number in 4000 with only about 300 remaining now. Existing drive-ins, a few still here in Southern California, have taken on new life in these viral days with social distancing. People must remain in their individual cars, thus easily maintaining the recommended distance from other patrons while enjoying a large screen movie much like the indoor experience.
The sound quality has been improved since I last attended a drive-in movie. They have done away with those boxes we hung on our windows for the sound. We can still utilize our individual car radio system now if we don’t mind draining our car battery. Talkie Man describes a preferable alternative system:
“Modern drive-in movies use FM transmitters to transmit the audio from the movie to the folks watching.” Antenna on a quality portable FM radio “....can give you the full-on immersive audio with sound effects you’d expect from a cinema”.
The last drive-in movie I recall our family attended was nearby, but that screen and parking area has long since been replaced by a shopping center. We saw the movie “Star Wars” so the nighttime outdoor setting was most fitting since the screen bled into a sky filled with stars – just a visual extension of many of the film’s space scenes. Reminiscing with my now adult children recently I learned the movie made more of an impression on me than them. They reclined on their tummies in our station wagon, peering through the windshield over the seat back, awake throughout the whole film, but not as impressed as I was apparently.
Years later when my granddaughter was a teenager, I located one of the few drive-in theaters remaining in our area on one of their visits. My daughter and I took her to the drive-in movie so she could have the experience before such venues became extinct. I don’t recall now what movie we saw as it was quite unimpressive, but then that hadn’t been the point of our going there.
Television home screens video and audio can be so large with such high quality now, I think most people might prefer the convenience of just staying at home to traipsing off to a drive-in unless the feature was one they couldn’t expect to see elsewhere any time soon.
Do you have memories of any drive-in movie experiences
– at least any that you would want to share here?
Are there any drive-in theaters remaining where you live, or do you even know