HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
The Harold Lloyd movie was great, complete with the live music for the soundtrack since it was a silent film. The organ being played while the scenes flowed on the screen were a fascinating combination. In October of 1927 sound-on-disc technology was used for the inaugural feature length talkie. That’s when moviegoers got to hear Al Jolson coin the phrase, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” Variations of that ad-lib are still used now in the 21st century.
Prior to the 1920s, movies were captured onto cellulose nitrate film, which requires low temperature and low humidity for storage. Otherwise the flammability of it would cause it to burn, as has happened to many films. So cellulose acetate film base began to be used instead. It was better, but not without problems, such as disintegrating. The standard recording for movies was twenty-four fps or frames per second. Around eight hundred movies were made in 1927 alone.
Classic film, history, those subjects fascinate me. I like finding out what things are unchanged and what are different, which things for the better or not. The cost of a movie ticket has gone up – a lot. If this really was 1927, the average price would be twenty-five cents. I’m not kidding.
The things that are even more important than financial aspects, they’re what counts. Like families sticking together through good times and bad times. Love, loyalty, and peace are things that truly can’t be bought. They should be treasured and never taken for granted.
As I was doing all of this philosophizing, we were on our way to meet Mom and Dad for dinner. I glanced over at my quiet brother. Maybe I could figure out what was going on as we walked along the sidewalks of Bayport. The sun was lowering. I glanced at my watch. Aunt Trudy and her guy would be watching the Duesenberg now. They were taking a double shift because they had had lunch where we were eating dinner and would be enjoying a picnic dinner. Yes, the Hardy family makes strategic plans, even for eating.
I held Callie’s hand as we walked, checking out the sights as it looked like everyone on Main Street had made a real effort to go back in time. It probably was so cool because it was temporary.
“No television, etc.. That’d be a big adjustment,” I thought out loud and looked down at Callie with a mock terrified expression on my face. She giggled, as I had hoped.
Joe must not have quite heard me right. Or maybe I didn’t totally hear him.
“Television – that’s probably the main topic of conversation for all who had the privilege to watch that live presentation back in April that we read about,” Joe commented. “I sure would have liked to have been there.”
“Oh yeah.” Iola nodded. “That was….the 7th of April in 1927 at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories.” She clearly was recalling the information we’d read online. Joe on the other hand….
“Yes,” Joe said. “About four months ago.”
Iola looked at Joe, slowing to a stop. Then she smiled and reached out to give him a quick kiss. Joe blushed, but was happy.
“You’re really sticking with it and I’m going to also.” She gazed at him expectantly.
I watched Joe, too, seeing what he would say. He opened his mouth, but no words came out.
“Let’s get dinner,” I suggested. “Mom and Dad are waiting.”
Maybe they could help figure out what was going on with their youngest son. Soon I was just going to flat-out ask him, but for right now, I had the feeling we should let him eat first. Maybe after the fireworks. Then it would be back to the 21st century, until tomorrow.
This had to be one of the coolest restaurants ever. Always great food and for the first day and last day of the car and air show, the prices were all 1920s style. An anonymous donor had given a lot of money to particular aspects of the show. Food prices were one of them. The restaurant owners had been asked if they were the ones who had donated the money, but they hadn’t, just part of the restaurants’ prices.
“I think this year’s show must be the most successful yet,” Dad said.
We had all just ordered, while exclaiming every few moments over the prices. Well, except Joe, of course. He didn’t seem at all shocked.
“Any guesses as to how many attended today?” Iola asked.
“If we guess right do we get a prize?” Mom teased.
“Absolutely!” Iola grinned.
We each made a guess, which Mom memorized. She gave Joe a surprised look at his low guesstimate, but didn’t say anything. She raised her eyebrows at me and I nodded to say I had noticed. Then I changed the subject.
“There are some jerks bothering Peter, wanting to buy the Bijou,” I told everyone.
“He loves that place,” Callie said. “He wouldn’t sell, would he?”
“No, he told them absolutely not,” I assured her.
“Do you think they would resort to unethical tactics?” Mom asked.
“They’ve been trying to lean on him and I think they were thinking about being more drastic.”
“You saw them?” Dad asked.
“Yes, and I took some pictures of them,” I told him.
“When did this happen?” Joe asked, surprised.
“When I left for a few minutes during intermission,” I explained. “Since it didn’t take long to walk here I decided to wait to tell you all at once.”
“I definitely want to see those pictures,” Dad said.
“Me, too,” Joe said.
I looked across the table at my brother and I could see he had a lot of questions. As the food arrived, I gave him a ‘I’ll explain it all later’ look, which brought an expression of relief to his face.
After dinner, we all hurried to where we had chosen to watch the fireworks. Definitely a highlight. The fireworks were being set off on a very small island situated in Barmet Bay. This was perfect, because as cool as fireworks are, over the water makes it even more spectacular.
Sitting on the blanket, near a bluff, we anticipated the show with family and friends nearby.
“Best seat in the house,” I whispered in Callie’s ear.
She smiled and agreed. The fireworks started early. Not the ones shooting off from the island but the kind from a boyfriend and girlfriend kissing. Or a husband and wife kissing, as evidenced very well by my parents plenty of times.
The explosions burst in the sky, making reflections of the multicolored lights dance across the waters of the bay. Lots of oohs and aahs sounded around as one fantastic display followed another. Some shot up super high and gave off mini-explosions. There were a variety of colors and styles. I think they tried to outdo the artistry of last year’s, somehow. Everyone was very impressed.