In the beginning...

...there were The Flyaways, a family who traveled in their miraculous flying machine having daring adventures with Goldilocks and Cinderella. The first in the 3-book series by Alice Dale Hardy was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1925 and copies are almost extinct. Few people remember Ma and Pa, Tommy and Susie Flyaway now.

I became acquainted with them on my grandfather's lap, my dear Grandpa Baker who read and read and read to me every evening for as many years as I can remember. I would hold my breath as each chapter ending neared, hoping he would not stop. I would keep begging for "just one more" chapter until his voice got so hoarse I would have to run to his room to get his throat lozenges.

Over the years we covered all of Uncle Wiggly and Honey Bunch, the Bobbsey Twins, the Five Little Peppers, the Wind in the Willow series, some of them more than once. He read to me until long after I could read everything for myself, until I was into Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I was safe and happy snuggled up on the couch with him and that feeling has never left me. I still read and read and read, and it still makes me feel safe and happy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Movie P.S.

Also this weekend, between following the coverage of the Kennedy funeral which I found sad and moving, I sandwiched in two dvds. The first was Gonzo, the bio of Hunter S. Thompson. I don't generally do biographies, but was curious about him because my 20-year-old grandson read his book about the Hells Angels and has been talking about him. Thompson was a manic, freaky, creative, doomed journalist who hung out with both the HAs and the Merry Pranksters in the 60s. It was a good way to pass a very rainy afternoon.

After Gonzo, I watched Before the Fall, which I had brought home from the library and was thinking about returning unwatched. What changed my mind was another grandson. This one, at age twelve, had watched it and told me how good it was (despite the subtitles). He was right. A German teenager in 1942 runs away from home and forges his father's signature on the application to a school which trains young men to fight for the Fatherland. The young man is a talented boxer who is eagerly welcomed into the organization. His zeal and naivity is soon compromised by the life he is forced to live and the lessons he is expected to accept without question. It is both a hope and a tragedy.

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