|July 24, 2011
Clint Eastwood's advice in "Dirty Harry" that
opinions, like certain body parts, are best kept to
2nd, 1952 was my 9th birthday, a Tuesday, but to keep things
simple, my folks had my party a few days early, on Sunday.
The plan was to invite ten of my friends to see a movie at
the downtown theatre that seemed perfect for a bunch of nine
year olds, a western,
of Paleface" starring Bob Hope, Jane Russell,
Roy Rogers, and Roy's horse Trigger. So, my friends were
invited, my mother made a birthday cake on Saturday night,
and a gallon of ice cream was purchased.
morning, our family went to the 8 o'clock mass at St. John
Vianney Church, and we were home after 9 getting breakfast
ready, when the phone in the kitchen rang. My mom answered,
and it was the mother of one of my friends invited to the
party. The lady said she'd seen that morning's church
bulletin, read the section where the local movies were rated
by the Catholic Legion of Decency, and there was a big
Back then, the Catholic Church rated all
movies, giving them an "A", a "B", or in
some rare cases, "Condemned". Since going to a "B"
movie was a mortal sin, punishable with an eternity of
damnation, I could only guess that going to one marked "Condemned
" was even more painful.
of Paleface" was rated "B". We figured out
later it was because the co-star buxom Jane Russell had been
in the 1943 Howard Hughes movie
Outlaw", wearing a low-cut outfit with a lot
of cleavage hanging out over the audience. So, the Legion of
Decency decided to ban any movie Miss Russell was in.
across the kitchen, I could hear the woman on the telephone
screaming, "MY SON BILLY ISN'T GOING TO THAT FILTHY
MOVIE, AND IF YOU SEND THESE KIDS TO IT, YOU'RE ALL GOING TO
HELL!! Then, she hung up. My mother looked shocked, and
turned to my dad "Glenn, what should we do?"
My dad was pretty level headed, and replied "Heck,
the movie has Bob Hope and Roy Rogers in it, how bad could
it be??" So, we went.
As a kid turning 9,
I started to wonder what exactly Jane Russell was going to
do that was so sinful? My interest was up. Dad had given me
money for the now 10 tickets, for me and 9 of my friends,
little Billy didn't show, and looking back at the pricing,
it was a pretty good deal. A kid's ticket was 10¢ plus
2¢ tax, a box of popcorn was 5¢, and if you really
wanted to splurge, a box of dots or similar candy was
another dime. Dad had gone all out, giving me $3 to cover it
all, 27¢ a kid for the movie, popcorn, and dots, and I
even had a little change left over. Today, that party would
cost about $10 bucks each.
got all settled in, the lights dimmed, and we watched some "previews"
of coming movies, a news reel showing what was going on with
the war in Korea, a Porky Pig cartoon, and finally, the
feature film began. (I miss those news reels and cartoons.)
Hope was predictably funny, Roy Rogers was a hero, and Jane
Russell was beautiful. The closest thing we saw of the
rumored thing called "sex" was a bubble bath
scene, where Miss Russell was in a tub with soap suds up to
her chin, but it was enough for a bunch of nine year olds.
Air Aviation Referral Service
responses, and will be glad to post them here. Email your
|It is amazing to me how much oppression
organized religion has levied upon others. All of this is in the
name of goodness. From the Crusades to rating movies for 10 year
When I was a kid I could say "Gee",
but not "Geez", because "Geez" was to close
to "Jesus". "Oh my gosh" was OK, but "Oh
my God" was off limits.
Oh Christ! I can't keep
all of this straight. (Or should I say " Oh Cripes"?)
a) I am a spiritual guy, but I have a bit of a
b) I am an atheist and consider all
religion to be nothing more than superstition.
reader may choose from the above two items if it makes my
comments more palatable.
Dave dontsteponmy Johnson -
Bullhead City, AZ