the lost man chronicles

moving freight trains

There's something nostalgic about a moving freight train for me, but I just can't seem to pin the reason why. Perhaps, it is because the Union-Pacific occasionally passed when we were out at the drive-in movies.

I loved going to the drive-in movies—the dull-grey stainless steel boxes we hung on the window, running across the gravel to the snack bar during intermission, and most endearing—simply being with the people I loved. There's something comforting about it that you just don't get from sitting in front of the TV together or at the movie theaters these days.

I vividly remember seeing Lady and the Tramp with my parents at the drive-in when I was seven years old. I honestly believe that the spaghetti-and-kiss scene made such an indelible impression on me that evening that it also induced my life as a hopeless romantic.

I also recall gong to see a lot of action-comedy-buddy films as a teen with my older cousins. We saw movies like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Dirty Larry and Crazy Mary, and Freebie and The Bean.

There was one commercial in particular I remember seeing at every movie. It was an advertisement for the spooky Winchester Mystery House, a place I never had a chance to visit in all twenty years I lived in San Jose. Built by the widow of the Winchester Rifle fortune, the house was under perpetual construction until her death and featured such unexplained eccentricities as doors that opened to brick walls, staircases that led to the ceiling, and glass floors so that she could watch her servants and guests. As one might imagine, it quickly gained to reputation of being haunted after Mrs. Winchester passed away. Needless to say, the announcement always got the imagination running and proved to be a perfect segue into horror and suspense films.

The last time I went to the drive-in was a year after college, when I went with a girlfriend once or twice, but we really didn't go to see the movie…

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