Sunday, December 14, 2003

Items of yore, cont.

Christmas Day, 1996. (Chicago)

It's been a good week leading up to Christmas. On Sunday the 22nd Yuriko and I went to the Music Box theater for the double feature sing-along. Between the movies, a Santa Claus -- lean and not very old -- came out to lead the audience in singing Christmas songs, some standard and some spoofs. The Music Box has an organ for occasions like this, and the organist was in fine form.

The place was packed, and it was a spirited crowd, jingling the bells they brought and singing along with the bouncing ball (I wonder who thought that up originally?). They also hissed with gusto at Mr. Potter, the villain in you-know-what sentimental holiday movie, which was the other half of the bill with White Christmas. Jay made the point on the phone today that Potter was incomprehensible as a rich man: he could have made a lot more money subdividing land and selling houses than as a slumlord -- it was 1946, after all, and that's where the real dough was.

I also wondered, what if Clarence had shown George Bailey the life he would have had, had he been able to go see the world, as he had planned before his father's sudden death. But that would have been a different movie, and probably not a sentimental holiday movie.


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