My wife and I haven't been regular theater-goers for years, due to the dearth of movies worth seeing these days. That makes her collection of old movies rather valuable to us, even though I'm sure her son's and our grandkid's generations would find them otherwise. Since there wasn't anything worth watching on the tube tonight either, she put an old VHS tape in the player while I was in my office next-door. I knew the theme music sounded familiar, but I tried to ignore it, as it was already 9 o'clock, and I hate to start watching a movie that late.
It turned out to be "How The West Was Won," starring more excellent old-time actors and actresses than I care to mention. Being more-or-less of the western genre, I soon found myself watching it with her. Anything involving history, horses and guns will always manage to catch my attention. I first saw that movie with my parents, when it was released in 1962. I saw it again when my wife bought the tape many years ago, so this was my third time around. I miss the old actors and actresses. I don't know if they were that much better, or I just think they were, since they were a part of my childhood. I know that very few of them would play in the trash that passes for entertainment these days.
There was some good music in the movie, plus, some songs from our nation's past that you don't hear anymore. I feel blessed to have gone to school when music was still taught and many of those songs taught were from various eras of our country's history. How long has it been since you heard someone sing “Oh, Susanna,” “Fifteen Years on the Erie Canal,” or “Oh, My Darling Clementine?” Or what about “John Henry,” Blue-Tail Fly,” “Oh, Shenandoah,” or “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad?” Those are songs with a bit history that TEACH a bit of history; they’re songs sung by some of our ancestors. Some would be considered “inappropriate” by our-oh-so-politically-correct dregs of modern society, but they were a product of the times, both good and bad, and should be accepted as such. Like many other aspects of history, I fear we are losing our musical heritage.
To get back on-subject, the movie ended about midnight, so that wasn’t too unbearably long for this old geezer. It helped that they included the intermission, complete with music—no joke! It was an evening well spent. It was a good movie that touched on a lot of history and brought back a lot of memories of my own younger days. Like Martha Stewart used to say, “That’s a GOOD thing!” © 2014