Gone With the Wind
by Janice Daugharty
2010 Janice Daugharty
First published in Brightleaf
We were on our way to see "Gone With the Wind" at the Ritz theatre in Valdosta. Not my first time going to the movies; I'd been to the drive-in, in Jasper, Florida--my sisters and I on back of our daddy's pickup, hiding from the night wind beneath patchwork quilts. Thirty miles, round trip, ripping open the pinewoods and crashing a state line.
Through the pickup's rear and front rectangles of bug-spattered glass, between my parents' heads and shoulders, like busts of local heroes, I had viewed "The Man With the Golden Arm," starring Frank Sinatra; and "Samson and Delilah," starring some no-name actors from many of the other drive-in movies; lots of cowboy and Indian films. The same gray cowboys would shoot from behind the same gray rocks and the same no-color redmen would tilt like trees from the same gray cliffs. Many of these same westerns I had already seen at summer tent shows in my home town of Statenville, Georgia.
But this time we were going to the Ritz in my cousin Fannie's car (just a car; in the fifties brands didn't count for diddly). She had two sets of children, a girl and a boy practically grown and four younger ones, ranging in ages from four to twelve--our double second cousins.
My mother, in the front seat with Fannie, had five head in the back seat, along with all four of Fannie's second set of children--offspring of home-body women and go-getter men.