Friday, December 18, 2015

A Star Wars Memory

  Here’s a little Star Wars memory for you. When the film was released in 1977, I wasn’t yet old enough to drive. Somehow I managed to see it three or four times, by getting relatives to drive me to the theater, but it wasn’t really as many viewings as I wanted.
   In the summer of 1978 they re-released the movie, and though I had just gotten my drivers license, I was still only allowed to drive locally. Dad didn’t want me getting too far from my hometown of Canton. Problem was, there wasn’t a movie theater in Canton at the time. The closest theater showing Star Wars was in Roswell, a suburb of Atlanta. I had never driven to Roswell and wasn’t supposed to, but in the way of teenagers everywhere, I decided it would be easier to get forgiveness than permission.
   I enlisted my first cousin as sidekick and coconspirator, and together we set out for Roswell to see Star Wars. And of course we got lost. The route from Canton to Roswell was a narrow, winding, two-lane road laughingly called HWY 140. I had, of course, ridden there many times with my parents, but I had never really paid attention on how to get to Roswell.
   Fortunately I have a good memory for landmarks and after driving around for a while I spotted some familiar buildings and we managed to find the theater. We had left plenty early so we didn’t miss the start of the movie but it was close.
   We didn’t have any further mishaps on the way home. That night at dinner, mom asked where I’d been all day. I said that my cousin and I had gone to see Star Wars. Dad immediately asked where and I told him. He had an odd expression but all he said was, “Have any trouble finding the theater?”
   I said, “Got lost once, but found it.”
   Dad nodded and didn’t say anything else about it. After that, I started driving pretty much wherever I wanted, without asking anyone. But that particular day, I felt just a little like Luke Skywalker, having taken my first steps into a larger world.


Peter Collinson said...

That's a good Dad, right there. The right call, made at the right time, with the right tone.
As the Dad of a driving 17 year old boy, I salute him.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thanks, and I agree. Dad always had the knack for dealing with boys like my brother and me.