понедельник, 8 октября 2007 г.

lmarchese1 (in bccwriting206): Fantasy Island


                                                Fantasy Island


I remember growing up in a home where watching the Brady Bunch was as important as the main staple of pasta in our Italian family. I dreamed of having a picture perfect family like the Brady Bunch and I found out later that many families felt the same way. There were no stepsisters or stepbrothers. We were all born from the same parents; instead of three girls and three boys; my family consisted of three girls, one boy, my mom and dad, our dog Brandy..and no we did not have a housekeeper named Alice in the kitchen.


I will share with you some of the good old fashioned shows that in my opinion were the best ever made.


My brother Frankie is one year younger than me, my sister Marilyn is six years older than me, and my sister Jane is four years older than me. Sometimes my sisters didn’t care to watch the cartoons with my brother and me, so they would hang out in their room and talk about boys and clothes.


My brother and I could not wait for Saturday to come. We would rush to finish breakfast and run into the living room to watch our favorite cartoons. One of my favorite cartoons and still is Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo is the star dog of the show and his partner in crime was his human best friend Shaggy. Their characters played detectives on the show. They were afraid of their own shadow…that was the funny part. They would hide when the rest of their buddy detectives would be chasing the bad buys. Their friends would find them cowering in a corner somewhere. Most of the time they were they were eating themselves silly with these huge sandwiches that they would gobble up in a second.


My brother Frankie and I would take turns watching our favorite shows on Saturday. His favorite show was Speed Racer and Felix the Cat. I didn’t like either show. I especially didn’t like Felix the Cat. He really got on my nerves. He had this high pitched voice that hurt my ears and reminded me of someone scraping their nails on a blackboard.

I loved to watch the Archies. I would imitate Veronica, one the characters. Pretty, smart and assertive. I would call my brother Jughead, another character from the Archies, who was a complete goofball. I took pleasure in calling him Jughead, but he was not amused.


We have a cousin Joseph who was my age. We would go hang out at his house. My aunt set up a room which was decorated as a hippie, psychedelic room. She had fluorescent lights. When you shut the overhead lights off and smiled all you would see is each others’ glittering white teeth. Oversized zebra pillows were scattered about the room along with cushiony bean bags. When you sat in the bean bags you would sink into them and it was not easy to get up out of them. She also had a little organ, my cousin had a drum set, and my brother had a guitar. I’m sure my parents, aunt and uncle had cotton in their ears from our wonderful noise.


We only had one black and white T.V. in our grammar school days. It was the kind with the rabbit ears antennae. A lot of times we wouldn’t get a clear picture. My dad would put tin foil on the ends of the rabbit ears. Sometimes it would help. We had to make sure we didn’t move the antennae at all or the picture would turn fuzzy or the horizontal lines would distort the faces. We all would have to tilt our heads sideways in order to see some part of their faces.


My friends and I can still recite songs from some of the other popular shows that were on such as Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies Show, Fantasy Island , The Love Boat, and Love American Style.


Saturday night was family night. My entire family would watch shows together. We had to watch Mom and Dads’favorite shows first. Lawrence Welk was an entertainer and had guest’s singers on his show every week.  The only part I enjoyed was in the opening of the show when the bubbles would be blowing all over the stage.


One of my favorite movies is a classic of all times called “The Wizard of Oz”. The first time I saw the Wizard of Oz was on our black and white T.V. My mom asked us if we wanted to watch it outside under the stars. We were so excited that we were all gathered around the picnic table anticipating the show. My mom popped kernels for the popcorn and added melted butter and salt…just the way we liked it. It was a warm summer night. The starts glittered in the sky reflecting light onto the patio and onto where we sat. It felt like the Marchese back yard theatre.


My sisters were hanging out by my Aunt Lil’s with my cousins. Aunt Lil had just bought a color T.V. Mom couldn’t get us there before the movie started, but during the intermission of the Wizard of Oz, she drove us up the hill to Aunt Lil’s house. We got there just in time to see Dorothy open the door to the Land of Oz which in the movie turns into color. Not only was I excited about seeing the Wizard of Oz for the first time, but seeing a color T.V. for the first time.  The excitement I felt in my heart reminded me of the Grinch who stole Christmas when they showed his heart swell out of his chest because he felt so good inside.


I remember missing my dad that night. I felt really sad that he wasn’t there to share the excitement with us. My mom explained that Dad had to work two jobs to support us and he was going to college full time of obtain a Masters in Teaching so he can take care of us.


One day my dad came home with a big smile on his face. He told us that we would be getting a delivery from Sears. He said “You’ll never guess what it is”…we knew right away and screamed and yelled as we answered “a color TV”.  When it arrived, it was the most beautiful T.V. I have ever seen. My entire family sat for hours watching our new color T.V.


Well, The Wizard of Oz did come on again. My dad did get to watch it with us, and we no longer had to speed up the block to Aunt Lil’s during intermission.


Was this Fantasy Island ….yes, some of it was.


By: Laura J. Marchese

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