No One Will Know

Hubby pointed me to a blog recently by saying, “You might find this interesting…”

He was right.

The blog, which I did find intriguing, is Letters of Note. Its creator describes the blog as “an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.”

The post that really grabbed me, however, featured a letter from Gene Wilder to Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (I also loved the picture of GW that accompanied the post, which is why I have embedded it here.)

One of the things Wilder suggests to the director is entering the first scene that reveals his character with a limp, surprising the crowds who have never seen him before, and then walking for a bit before ending the scene with a pretend fall and then crazy somersault.

According to the blog:

Asked why, Wilder explained: “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

Since the whole point of the factory tour ends up being to find someone honest and caring enough to run the factory when Wonka retires, that turns out to be a pretty good move.

That’s one of my all-time favorite movies. I have never seen the remake. In fact, I don’t want to see the remake. Some things are perfectly fine just the way they are.

My Dad used to take my brother and I to the movies on occasion. Mom seldom came along. I always assumed she just didn’t like movies. When I got older, I realized it was her break from us.

I have a few other all-time favorite kid movies from back in the day.

Like Herbie the Love Bug. Now there’s a whole series of films I never want to see re-made.

Yes, I know at least one remake has been done, I just have no desire to see it. I’m not saying I’d refuse to watch if, say, the grandkids were around and chose that for movie night. I just have no desire to see a new version.

I loved all the old Disney movies with Kurt Russell, too. Really. Even if I can’t name even one of them at the moment. Perhaps I need more coffee first.

There’s also Song of the South, which is pretty darn old. I’m assuming I saw that one on TV. I don’t remember much about the film. I remembered the Uncle Remus character, though, and something that I still think of to this day is the rampaging bull scene. Maybe because I like to stop and look at cows. Or maybe that’s why I like to stop and look at cows.

I found an interesting blog post about Song of the South, which discusses a controversy surrounding the film, of which I was never aware, and its inherent racism.

Of course, I loved the animated Disney films, too. Cinderella. Lady and the Tramp. Bambi.

I’m no movie nut, but this stuff all brings back fond childhood memories.

We used to love watching The Ten Commandments every year when it came on TV. The funny thing about that movie is, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized the film didn’t end when Moses parted the Red Sea. That’s just when my parents decided we’d stayed up late enough (i.e., made them crazy all day long) and needed to go to bed.

My brother and I fought a lot. There’s a four-year age difference between us. And we’ve always been very different.

Most memories of my childhood with my brother aren’t good ones. He was never very nice to me. But he was generally more well-behaved, so he became “the good kid.” Granted, there are some pretty strong reasons for that (I was a bit, um, adventurous). But my brother played on that reputation of mine and used it against me whenever he could. It rankles me to this day that my parents never saw past his trickery.

Some of the specific things that stick in my mind…

  • He carved my initials in the paint on the back of the bathroom door and then told my parents I did it. Of course, I got punished.
  • He snooped through the Christmas presents one year, saw he was getting a camera, and then told my parents I had revealed the secret to him. I wasn’t allowed to help with the wrapping any more, which is something I always enjoyed. (And, for the record, I have never snooped to see what I’d be getting for Christmas.)
  • He bit me on my stomach, clearly leaving teeth marks. No one EVER believed me. There’s still a very faint scar, too. I know it’s there, but it’s so light no one else would probably notice, even if I pointed it out.

He used to trick me into doing stuff, too. He loved getting me into trouble. And enjoyed making up crazy lies. He would come up with some pretty bizarre stuff. Like the time he told my parents I’d forgotten to flush the toilet and he saw worms swimming around the bowl. Worms!

Do you think they believed it wasn’t true? Only after a day or so of NOT allowing me to flush.

I guess that’s why we fought so much. Physically. We used to beat each other up a lot. Everything became a competition.

That’s not to say I don’t have good memories of my childhood. I had lots of fun growing up in the seventies. When kids were allowed to be kids. Run free and play all day. Like many kids of that era, I was free to do as I wanted most of the day — during Summer especially — as long as I was home by the time the streetlights came on.

Most of my fondest family memories revolved around going to the movies. And TV. Oh, camping, too. We used to camp frequently. While camping, we kids were free to roam. We did stuff together, too, like play badminton. And Frisbee. Lawn darts! That was one of my Dad’s favorite games. He had a brother, Jay, who loved lawn darts more than anyone I knew. I always loved our campfires, too. Sometimes we’d do walks/hikes together. And have picnics. We also fished a lot.

See, there were lots of good times.

Isn’t it sad how the bad stuff sticks out more? Human nature, I guess.

What’s the worst thing your sibling(s) ever did to you?

5 Replies to “No One Will Know”

  1. Ahhhh brothers. I too have a brother. Tiger is older by 1 year. It always seemed like I was grounded for real or imagined crimes and he never was. Sigh.

    Worst he ever did was slam my hand in a one-ton truck door and broke my thumb, then there was the time he shut my hand in the bathroom door and broke my other thumb, oh wait the time I tripped and fell and he rode over my hand while riding a bicycle and broke my pinkie finger. I think when I get arthritis in my hands I’m blaming him. Between Tiger and volleyball I’ve broken every finger but two.

    Ahhhh memories.

    On a side note. I love movies. We do Netflix so we try and watch 2-3 a week. Some old and some new. I remember going to the the occasional drive-in as a kid and we also saw ET when visiting family in Chicago one time. We usually just rented movies. My mom was a single mom raising two kids so there wasn’t a lot of extra funds. To this day I still hate spending the money on tickets at the movie theater and we rarely go. And I agree, remakes are not usually any good and probably shouldn’t be watched unless you haven’t seen the original.

  2. I agree — re-makes are never as good because they spring from a commercial desire to cash in on something with a pre-sold audience. They vary only in the degree of badness. It’s dispiriting to watch them sully your memories of the original.

    My younger brother and I bickered constantly as kids but now, with him gone, I miss those days.

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