Radio Diaries: Home Movies

Feb 24, 2017

For years, I’ve had a box of home movies in the basement—and finally I borrow an antique projector and set it up in the living room.

“You don’t have to sit through this,” I tell my husband.

“I know I don’t,” he replies and opens a beer.  “Do you want one?”

“Not yet,” I say.

Suddenly, I see my father as a young man, grinning and handsome in his Navy “dress whites.”  The year is 1942 and he is waiting to be called up for service on an air craft carrier.  “We said good bye every day,” my mother said and now I see her coming to take his arm.  She is beautiful and slim in a peach-colored suit.

And there I am a few years later, in my mother’s arms.  My father is somewhere in the South Pacific and she is smiling bravely at the camera.

“I think I’ll have that beer,” I tell my husband.  I see my baby brother on the beach and my father stooping to pick him up—my father safely back from war.  Next we see my grandparents vacationing in Florida.  “Why are there so many shots of flowers?” I ask.  I want to see the people, the faces, even though they make me cry.

“The quality of the film is remarkable,” my husband says.

“Yes, it is,” I say, “quite remarkable.”