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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

The Afternoon Movie on Channel Five

June 1, 2021

I remember walking the block home after morning kindergarten. My mother would fix me lunch, a tuna fish sandwich and a handful of chips. Kool Aid. Usually a cookie.

After, I’d sit near her, and we’d watch The Afternoon Movie on Channel Five. The movies were classics from the 40s and 50s. She’d tell me the names of all the stars.

The actresses were intoxicating, with their lustrous hair piled into elaborate designs, their heads tilted back as they looked up into men’s eyes with yearning. But what was best of all were their beautiful gowns, evening dresses that sparkled in black and white, cut to a woman’s form with incredible precision. I wanted desperately to live in a world of Rogers and Astaire.

Still, when I catch an old movie, I transport into my five-year-old mind, even feeling my mother’s arm around me as we sat on the sunken brown couch. It wasn’t until I was a bit older she began to ask me bits and pieces of the plot she missed. It would be decades before dialogue would scroll at the bottom of the screen. From across the room, she watched the actor’s lips move, trying to decipher the plot of which she only ever gained a superficial understanding. That is why we liked musicals best of all.



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