Those Magnificent Men

Last night, too late to stay up and watch right through (at least for me), one of our TV channels screened "Those Maginificent Men In Their Flying Machines"! What a blast from the past, what a load of memories that brought up!

Living in Zimbabwe in the 70's and 80's, no-one had TVs. We made our own entertainment as kids (bikes, adventures, tree houses etc.), and as a community. Every Saturday night our church would gather in the church hall for a night of fun. Sometimes we had a taffy-pull, sometimes a talent show, or pick-a-box. Sometimes the kids put on their rollerskates and turned the hall into a roller rink. And now and then we saw a reel-to-reel movie.

"Those Magnificent Men" was right up there among the favourites.

I remember dad hauling out the reel-to-reel projector, ordering the movie, splicing out the one scene with a half-naked woman on the beach (and putting it back together with tape), then threading it carefully through the machine. (He re-spliced the scene back in before we returned it. When we ordered the film years later in another town, we found his splice-work in the exact same place - same film reel! Watching it last night, I noticed how "tame" that scene is compared to what's on general TV these days....)

We had a big screen at one end of the hall, plenty of floor space and chair space, and off we went.

The guy in charge of the projector had quite a job. He had to make sure the film moved smoothly, nothing overheated (and melted the film), the bulb kept shining, and most importantly, that when the back reel started to fill up, it wouldn't start tipping slowly over, the movie moving up the wall to the roof where it all collapsed in a heap and died.

We loved our movies, even if we only saw the same few over and over again.

But there was one movie my father absolutely refused to watch. He'd go and sit in the car or take a walk until we were done. He still refuses to watch it, can't stand it.

Which movie?

"The Sound of Music"!

Those were the days...