Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fantasy Travel with Bond, James Bond

Guincho Beach, Portugal near Cascais - Location of the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" by litlesam

The first James Bond movie came to the little theater in my home town in 1962.  I remember seeing the previews while at a Saturday matinee.  I had never heard of James Bond before.  But the preview made the film look very exciting.  The announcer said in a very excited voice that Dr. No was the first in a new series of James Bond films.  I think the words "first in a new series" created some sort ovief thrill to this ten year old boy.  There was something exciting about being able to experience the first in a new series.  So the next Saturday I lined up at the State Theater in Havre de Grace, Maryland with my twenty five cents for admission and entered a new world of excitement that continues to fascinate me to this day 50 years later.  

 I know that my love and my desire to travel has it origins in these movies.   Growing up, I would sit in the dark in that little movie house and James Bond would whisk me away to exotic locations that I knew I would never be able to experience on my own.  To my family traveling meant a two hour drive to Ocean City, Maryland once a year for a long weekend at the beach.  Every year, the same beach, the same hotel, the same boardwalk, the same amusement pier.  But as I sat on the benches on the boardwalk and gazed out at the ocean, in my mind I saw places like Gincho Beach.  Gincho Beach where James Bond met the Countessa Teresa Del Vicenzo in the opening sequence to On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  Gincho Beach where Bond fought with the villain out in the waves of the ocean just off the coast of Portugal.  Yes, my mother was probably sitting next to me arguing with my father.  My father was probably looking off into the horizon, ignoring my mother,  with his own fantasy that had nothing to do with any of us.  And my sister was probably there wanting to move on to something more exciting and not just sit here staring at the shore line.  So reality would set in and we would move on  to the smell of Thrashers french fries, cotton candy, and the noise of the carnival like boardwalk.  

As the "new series" of James Bond films continued to explore more exotic locations and the story lines grew more and more fantastic I grew into adulthood still nursing the fantasy to see some of these places in reality.  Travel was an extravagance in the 1960's.  It was much too expensive for a family with a modest income to even think about world travel.  I grew up.   I got married.  I had the American dream of the house, the yard, two children, the dog and the mortgage.  And James Bond continued to travel and to entice me.   This year I am turning sixty.  Its the fiftieth anniversary of the first James Bond film this year also.  There is a new Bond and new adventures.  This year the new Bond film is filming in locations in Turkey.  Of course Turkey is one of those fantasy sites for me.  So although I have been able to travel as an adult and I have been able to see some of the exotic locations I experienced in the Bond movies, once more Bond is giving me the beckon call to another place I have never seen.  In November I will once again enter a dark theater and like that ten year old boy in 1962, I will be transported to a world beyond my imagination.  The bullet title sequence will appear.  The familiar guitar strum of the James Bond theme will be heard.  I guess some things never change.  And I like it that way.


1 comment:

  1. I threw a James Bond party when I got my blurays - I made vodka martinis and everything.

    Can't wait for the 50th anniversary set!