All our children are teens and our youngest has requested to go to the movies with her friends on Saturday night. This got me thinking…
My very first experience of movies was right here in our mountain home. Initially the movies arrived with the bus from Ladysmith and were delivered to the ‘halt’, the intersection on the road between Royal Natal National Park and Bergville. And then, the bus stopped this route. So instead on a Friday when we were fetched from boarding school we’d have the task of completing all the hotel chores with the driver. On occasion the driver was one of our parents and other times it was July. July was a character and spent many times carting us children here and there. So, Friday was Post day, Bank day, NLK day and then we’d pop past the Station and collect the Friday night movie. Once we were done it was sent to National Park Hotel and their movie night was Saturday…
I don’t recall many movies at The Cavern but I do remember Ghost Busters. It terrified us and we had many a sleepless night and scary walks to bed in the dark of the night. Greece, the Thornbirds and the Duchess & the Dirt Water Fox were a few others. Guests would book their spots with blankets and the skilled movie man was the guy that didn’t have much of an interruption at reel change. It was proper.
Then came my very first trip to the movies in the big city. I went with my cousins from Durban and I remember how my cousin Tessa and I were dressed in the same culottes with matching waist coasts. So hill billy! I can’t recall the movie but I do remember feeling particularly grown up.
We didn’t do movies terribly often and the next one that I remember was heading to the movies in my SJS uniform. In our day, St John’s School for Girls had the most shocking uniform of all the girls’ schools in the district. We had black tricorn hats, yes, just like a pirate, and fabulous black and yellow capes. I think one idea was to be completely unattractive to the opposite sex and I do on occasion wish my girls had the opportunity of being completely levelled by these outfits!! Anyway, we raced from Café Bavaria across the road to Capital Towers and I tripped and next thing I was a flying SJS girl with cape flapping behind. Two bruised and bloodied knees later, and absolutely no recollection of the movie!
Teens then twenties then thirties and then possibly into the forties we headed. Now, your roots are your roots and it’s very hard to lose the hill billy in you… I headed to my first 3D movie with 3 children and 1 long suffering husband. We bought tickets and popcorn and I have to say I felt positively poor… so heading into the movie house the man offers me a pair of glasses for 20 bucks. No thanks I proclaimed, ripped off enough, and headed to my seat….. Oh my! What a fuzzy few minutes before the long suffering, completely amused husband hands me a pair of glasses and tells me they may help!!!!
Oh the hill billy. These mountains are good for some things but I sure hope my kids are better prepared than me!