Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

It’s Father’s Day. If you’re reading this, Dad, I hope you’re having a good one.

Without my father, I would not be the person I am. I mean that for many reasons, of course, but since I write about movies, let’s talk about movies.

When I was around four or five years old, my dad and I moved into a new apartment. The first day in the new apartment, after things had been unpacked and a period of settling in had taken place, he asked me if I wanted to go to the Warehouse.

I couldn’t understand why he sounded excited about it or why he thought I would want to do something like that. At four years old, I had yet to make the distinction between the Warehouse Video Store and the Men’s Warehouse. I thought he wanted to take me suit shopping. He didn’t.

I don’t remember what the first movie we rented was, but the specifics don’t really matter. As far back as I can trace, that’s where my love of movies started-- jay-walking across a busy, dangerous street to that wonderful old building, all full of movies waiting to be watched. I can’t say that I always chose the best movies (sorry about all the Leprechaun movies, Dad), but the important thing was the watching, taking in movie after movie.

There is no way my dad could have known what it would lead to-- a love of film, bordering on obsession-- but there is no doubt in my mind that he is responsible. We amassed a collection of VHS tapes, unrivaled by anyone I knew at the time. Some 300 tapes, all bought while blissfully unaware that developing technology would render them near-obsolete (thanks, a lot, DVD).

But, the tapes, the rentals, that was only the tip of the iceberg. My dad not only took me to the movie theatre, but he taught me how to do it right. A movie is not a movie without popcorn and a soda. Occasionally, he reminds me of this and kids me if I don’t get anything at theatre. Believe me, when I go back, I get my popcorn and soda.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with trivia of all kinds. Personal trivia, for instance, intrigues me to no end. But, one piece of trivia eludes me, and it’s a big one. If there’s anyone who might know the answer, it would be my father. I can not recall the first movie I saw in a theatre. I couldn’t even begin to place a time frame on it. Perhaps it’s one of those things lost to history. I guess it’s not that important.

For my father, here are some movies that remind me of him.


My dad likes war movies, and this may be the greatest war movie ever made.

The Departed

The first time my dad and his wife came to visit me at school, this was the movie we saw. The bad guy’s on the left; the good guy’s on the right, Dad.

Reservoir Dogs

Introduced to me by my father, this is one of the first movies I recall seeing and thinking, ‘That was an amazing movie.’

My Cousin Vinny
Because I’ve only named ultra-violent movies so far, it’s important to know that my dad has a pretty good sense of humor.

As a side note, my father and I still go to the old Warehouse Video building. It’s a BevMo! now. There’s wine where the horror movies used to be, whiskey in the action section, and refrigerators in place of the racks of used movies for sale. Oh, well. Not everything can stay the same.

Happy Father’s Day.

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