An awesome song by Don Henley and the subject of today’s reading from my book Emotions: Not your Mama’s ABC’s! I am sure in some point in time, I will record and post a few Don Henley tunes that I cover. Man, what a voice. A big musical influence on me and my style, as are Elton John and Jim Croce, to name a few.
We all have our stories of our First Experience and this is mine. The story is set in the British town of Aylesbury in the Midlands.
I have stories depicting earlier fumblings, but this time I crossed the finish line.
Just another reason I am an Anglophile.
You know what really tripped me out were the movie theaters. Before the feature film played, there were television advertisements shown.
I lived overseas for most of my youth, but I don’t remember TV commercials playing before any U.S. movies. And we’re the greediest, commercial driven society the world has ever known. But now that I rethink it (just took a massive hit), the movie trailers shown to preface American cinema are nothing but very expensively-produced commercials.
Figure that one out.
Anyways, back to the movies. The film we were seeing was none other than The Sand Pebbles, featuring Steve McQueen’s Oscar-worthy performance.
“Holman come down!”
We were loaded for bear after stopping at the kiosk for sweets: Some Refreshers, a Stinger bar, of course a Cadbury Milk Chocolate Dairy bar, some Fizzers, and a bag of Smarties. My drink of choice was Schweppe’s Ginger Ale and I was all set.
The movie theater was old school, replete with velvet ropes and curtains, and a balcony where the older kids would go and escape their parents’ watchful gaze and sneak a smoke. I could easily envision old vaudeville performers tramping the boards on the stage.
So the movie ends and we start walking to the bus station to grab a coach home. As we approach the station, we come to the Fish and Chips vendor encased in a 4x4x6 upright coffin. There was a deep fryer with two baskets and a tiny 10’x10” cutting board. Newspapers, used to wrap the food, were stacked in any remaining space. If you wanted to season your fish or chips, you were provided malt vinegar.
I would learn the true value of the fish and chips vendor after I took up drinking in the pubs. The little kiosks are lifesavers after a night of muckin’ about.
You couldn’t get a simple screwdriver in a pub; they did not have orange juice to mix with the vodka, instead using a much cheaper (and nasty-tasting) non-carbonated orange drink.
Besides, pubs are for PINTS anyway, my brew of choice being Watney’s Red Barrel.
You have not lived until you watch a soccer (football) match between two bitter rivals in an English pub.
Preferably United vs. City.
So thanks for coming along on another ride with me.