Saturday, March 19, 2011

In Bondage

In 1962 I was ten years old. Every Saturday my mother would give me a quarter so that I could go to the Saturday matinee at the State Theatre in my little home town of Havre de Grace. Before the feature they always showed previews of coming attractions. I will never forget one Saturday afternoon in 1962. The previews started to play and the announcer said "You will not want to miss Dr. No, first in a series of James Bond films." For some reason the words first in a series caught this ten year olds attention. I had never heard of James Bond, Ian Fleming, or Sean Connery. But with this one announcement they all entered my life.

I was so excited. I was going to be able to see the FIRST in a series. I waited for two weeks for the film to open. I waited in line as usual with the quarter held tight in my hand. This was an event I was not going to miss this event. They dimmed the lights in the movie theatre, and closed the curtains covering the movie screen. This was always a big production at the State Theatre. After showing the previews and a cartoon, they would close the curtains and the theatre would go completely dark. Then the curtains would open as the movie started. I sat there as the curtains opened and the now familiar guitar riff of the James Bond theme entered my consciousness for the very first time.

I sat through the movie and never blinked an eye. I was totally captivated. From the images of Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in the bikini with the big knife strapped on her hip, to the images of Sean Connery in all his shirtless glory, this ten year old was mesmerized. I remember I stayed and watched the movie twice that day. Back then once you paid your admission you could stay and watch the movie as many times as you wanted. I could not leave. I had to see it one more time.

Since that day I have been in Bondage to the Bond films. Now almost 50 years later I still wait in anticipation for each new Bond movie. I have read all of Ian Flemings books. I have the entire movie series on DVD. I have the soundtracks and its not unusual to find them playing in my car CD player on any given day. The picture of me here is one that I had fun setting up. Its me with the Wii that my daughters gave me for Christmas in 2009. I have a Wii gun that I can use to do battle with Bond and wipe out the bad guys. I am like that ten year old kid all over again.

1962, first in a series! I never thought then that in November 2012 when I will turn sixty I will be first in line when the next Bond opens. Its almost like they have planned them all just for me.

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