This is the day…is it not? For as long as I can remember Saturday was the day that I waited for all week. The glories of Saturday were incomparable. The benefits of Saturday were too numerous to mention. There were cartoons on Saturday…all morning. There was no school…of which I did not care for much anyway. The kids, of which I felt internally that I was older than, were all available for play and adventure. Often there would be an afternoon trip to Jackie’s house for some play with action figures and the much sought after…Daniel Boone. Jackie’s mom had Kool Aide to drink and cold hot dogs to eat…accompanied by white bread.
Orpheum Theatre screened the same movie on Friday nights and again for their Saturday matinee. Many times it would be a science fiction flick or a Castle Horror movie…in the vein of Dracula or Frankenstein. I think that christianity first enthused me when the great vampire fighter, Peter Cushing, used his cross to fight the evil Dracula. The cross seemed to be very powerful to me…at that point. Sitting in the darkened theatre and watching places that I had never been and people that I had never met intrigued my imagination. John Waynes swagger and no nonsense approach to the demarcation between good and evil was impressive. He seemed to always be on the side of the right and yet was a bit of a rapscallion as he went about his business. It was later that I discovered that life’s problems and needs could not be solved in the ‘John Wayne’ mold of operation.
During our years in Elkville, Illinois and when Aaron and Jonathon were much younger…we enjoyed traveling to St. Louis, Missouri which is a 100 mile drive and the city for we residents of Little Egypt. On many occasions we would drive up on Saturday and stay overnight in order to see a Cubs Cardinals baseball game on each day. These were some fun and adventuresome weekend get-aways. MJ is a consummate Cubs fan. St. Louis Saturdays were filled with visiting the Zoo or the Art Museum or Christmas shopping or simply driving up to the city for dinner.
Freedom is the operating word for Saturday. No work or school obligations. For sometime when we resided in the Village…we drove to our little city of Carbondale to visit their outstanding mall. We would eat in one of the malls many restaurants and enjoy the laid back hustle and bustle of our college town. There was a 4 screen movie theatre in the University Mall…and in the 1970’s I was amazed at the ingenuity of placing such a marvelous entertainment venue in what seemed to me to be an enclosed town square. During my youth I had been accustomed to either individual stores along the streets of Eldorado or the shopping mall that was in Evansville, Indiana. The University Mall had a humongous Sears Department store with an escalator. Sears was the epitome of fine shopping in my world. We did not have a Sears store in Eldorado. Again, we had to drive to Evansville for the elite experience of Sears shopping. I purchased my first home computer at the Sears store in the University Mall. This was in the 1980’s. It was an IBM computer. We played the game, Oregon Trail, on it and did some word processing. It had no internet capability. It’s price tag was two thousand dollars.
For sometime we attended a church that met on Saturday night. I would have enjoyed it more if we had not also met on Sunday afternoon and again on Sunday evening. Actually the traditional habit of churches meeting on Sunday evenings was common 30 years ago. Now we parishioners are thrilled when the pews are semi full for our single service of the week on Sunday morning. I always thought that the rationale for a church meeting on Saturday night was to keep us away from the devil and the glittering baubles of sin that he juggled before us. Mom enjoyed visiting the Honky Tonk on Saturday night. She loved to dance and drink a Slo-Gin Fizz. Not long after she passed in 2013 we visited our favorite restaurant on The Hill in St. Louis…Cunetto House of Pasta…for my birthday. As we sat at the bar Jonathon asked the bartender if he knew how to make a Slo-Gin Fizz. He responded that he did and that they still had some mix that was specific to the making of the drink. He noted that they used to have one patron that ordered the obscure drink…but that they had not seen him in quite awhile. Upon him inspections he pronounced that the contents of the bottle were still good…and we toasted to Grandma Neva June…with her favorite drink…