M is for Movies

Did you have a neighborhood drive-in movie lot? These were the BEST summer family and date night venues. Drive-ins took up a  parking lot with tall speed humps and rows of stands loaded with a heavy speaker to hang on the driver’s side window. The screen was billboard size huge and white.

In the summer, my parents, aunts, and uncles piled a lot of kids in station wagons. Us kids wore our pajamas and sneakers. We arrived early so we could play on the asphalt playground that featured a very tall slide, swings, and monkey bars. A motorized choo-choo train gave anyone brave enough to jump on a ride around the lot. The grownups loaded up with candy, popcorn, and sodas. When the day finally set into night, the playground lights flashed and the projector started the concession stand commercials. The backseats were folded down and covered with blankets and pillows. Cartoons played while we settled on how much popcorn and which candy bar we could have. My dad laughed out loud at the Road Runner cartoons. A kid friendly movie usually played next. I remember seeing The Boatniks and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The second feature was geared toward adults. By that time, the kids were asleep on their sticky pillows—well, at least most of the kids. I saw most of the “grown up” movie, peeking over the front seat’s backrest. I remember Krakatoa, East of Java and a shoot-em-up gangster movie with “bad words”.

My theme for the 2022 AtoZ Blog Challenge is titled Grand Prompts To Ask Your Grands. Each day in April I will present a conversation starter/journal prompt to ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, older neighbors, co-workers, yourself…you get the idea. The questions are meant to forge connections between and within generations and inspire storytelling and journaling. 

Pray for Peace

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The Heart of Bakers and Artists

The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers

Becoming America’s Food Stories

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

12 thoughts

  1. I must have lived an odd life as I don’t think my parents ever took me to the movies or drive Inn. They never watched movies. Poor me, mama never baked cookies either! We took kids a few times to the drive in but they never ran around on the playground.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I took my boys to a drive-in movie for the first time last summer. We don’t have a local one so when we were visiting family, and it was close by, I couldn’t resist. I was surprised by how late the movies started. I don’t remember that part. It was double movie, but it would have been past 2 in the morning if we watched the second one so we sadly packed it in. Regardless, they loved the experienced.

    Stopping in from A to Z:

    Marshmallow – This post offers a teaser for my upcoming novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cute theme you have going for the A/Z Challenge! Pretty much everything you wrote about drive in theaters I can relate to with having done them growing up. One of the houses we lived in was literally a block away from the drive in theater. The way they angled the screen, we couldn’t see the movie but we could hear the audio of it. When it was a popular movie, there would be a traffic jam on our street with people waiting to get in. Where we live now they have several drive in theaters still operating. Haven’t been in years but might have to go soon to one!



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