Friends, Homeschoolers, and Teenagers;
My name is Locksley Hooker, and I am exceedingly, excessively and extremely excited to be presenting the first of a monthly series in which I introduce a new classic film/comedian/show or something along those lines for a new generation (AKA, you guys). The time period I would like to deal with is roughly between the late 1920’s (when “talkie’s” motion pictures with sound started to catch on) to the late 60’s (about the time things went to color). Now I know your mind is telling you to skip this part of the magazine, because after all, if you wanted to hear about that kind of thing, couldn’t you just flip on Turner Classic Movies? But I beg of you, bear with me, because here is the difference between me and that nice old fella that hosts TCM; I’m a teenager, like you. If I can sit through these movies and really enjoy them, I promise you can too.
For as long as I can remember, I was blessed with a family that enjoyed the old as well as the new. I can remember laughing my head off, at about seven years old, listening to some old tapes of “The Jack Benny Show” in the car with my Dad. Abbot and Costello’s Jack and the Bean Stalk was a hit with my friends at my birthday sleepover. And probably the first science-fiction story I ever seriously tried to write was my own version of a Suspense play. Now that I’m fifteen, my love for this era has only grown. On my wall are posters of Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and The Wizard of Oz respectively, while my friends have problems deciding whether Taylor Lautner or Justin Beiber deserve that hallowed space. I own a large phonograph player, in which David Brubeck’s jazz or The Beatles is usually playing instead of Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga. And on my DVD shelf, my prized possession of an eight-disc Marx Brother’s collection sits where the average teenager has her Twilight series enshrined. I try very hard not to sound like I’m being scornful or pretentious when I say these things. My point in doing this column is certainly not to tell my fellow homeschool teens their interests are wrong or that they are being stupid not spending hours poring over the TCM movie catalog. My point is simply this: an era is being forgotten here that deserves remembrance. And more than that, an era that I think many young people, especially homeschoolers from households where open-mindedness is encouraged, would really enjoy if they were introduced to it by someone other than an elderly film historian.
Remember that not so long ago, teenagers, just like you and yours, were watching and listening to these things; Johnny Dollar and Suspense were what they popped popcorn and got scared of at late-night sleepovers. Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra were their heartthrobs. Arsenic and Old Lace, Casablanca and A Night At The Opera were the movies they talked about with friends at school. And although not every movie was as squeaky clean as The Wizard of Oz, for the most part, it was an era that valued morals, character and Godliness. So, the point of this tirade? Take a listen to what I have to say here every month, just a listen, and if you really feel in a daring mood, try listening to an old radio show, or finding one of the old films I talked about. If you’re anything like me or millions of other teenagers from a by-gone age, you won’t regret it.
-Thank you for your time, blessings!