Moving pictures

Christmas and Easter and brief vacations to one of Wisconsin’s fishy little lakes  were the occasions for filming our home movies during the 1960s in Elmhurst, IL

You’d think nothing happened in between and that would be about right. Sometimes a sacrament like Baptism or First Holy Communion made it onto the movie archive but usually not. Nobody felt like mugging for the camera outside Immaculate Conception church.

You’d think my brothers, cousins and I were spawned in the wild where making screwy faces, leaping about and screeching were forms of communication. Sometimes a startled grownup exhibited similar lunacy when the camera zoomed in. Scary.

The girls, including my cousins, aunties and Mom, froze into what we assumed were model poses when we were dressed up but it was hard to hold still for very long. We bored ourselves.

It also might be assumed that no fathers existed in this cinematic universe because the uncles and dads were behind the camera. As silent movies, their encouragements to us weren’t recorded: “Hey kids, over here! Smile! Smile for heavens sake! Look here! Do something! No, not that!! Wave! Yes! That’s good! Wave!”

This experience overall was most entertaining when we watched the movies much later. None of us were silly most of the time, but watching our movies reassured us we had the capacity.




About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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