|Pretty much illustrates what I saw that day.|
Back in the 70s, for about a period of four years, Mt. Vernon was without an indoor movie theater. No big deal I guess, just go to the next town if you wanted to take in a flick. Trouble was, the "next" town was Newark, Columbus or if you lived in northern Knox County, Mansfield, 25+ miles away.
During the warm months there was the Knox Auto Theater (Now sadly gone.) but until the Colonial started operations downtown (They scored The Empire Strikes Back as their opener. How they did it, I've no idea.), you were hit with a trip mid-Fall through early Spring.
As an objectivist (Small o. I don't believe EVERYTHING Ayn Rand says. Only 99.99%.) I really can't fault the former owner of the Vernon Theater. A bank wanted the property, cable TV was cutting into ticket sales & the place needed repair. So the old man sold it. O ..... K ..... I guess.
Sentiment. What kind of a price do you put on it? (In Delaware County, it's 150 grand taxpayer bucks to restore the Strand.) I mean, I spent many an afternoon matinee at the Vernon. Mom & Dad Disneyed us to death there. I remember Dad bothered by three bucks a head when we saw Patton. There was the Romeo & Juliet controversy (Zeffirelli version. Didn't bother me. I'm not turned on by guys butts.). It was at the Vernon I was traumatized by Old Yeller. I was further traumatized on my first date there. Memories .....
My last memory of the Vernon is not a good one. I was on my way to Brinings' News Stand (Down the alley & across Vine.) passing the skeletal carcass of the torn down theater. There, standing in the midst of the wreckage, was ..... HIM!
Clad in a BLACK business suit & contrasting white shirt. Hunched shoulders, arms extended & clutched in the liver spotted leprousness of his talons ..... window glass. The elderly scavenger was salvaging window glass! Looking ..... for all the world ..... like some foul carrion bird ..... picking at road kill.
That glass is probably laying in some barn or shed collecting about as much dust as he is. Sad.
Article copyright © 7-27-2011 Jay Agan
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