A Summer Place

Exaggerated, overly dramatic, and contrived, this movie deigned to dramatize the sexual morality of society in the 1950’s.
My sisters were teenagers at the time and I remember this movie because it was the rage among their crowd.  I am not sure if I saw it in the theater with them, as I often tagged along if they were to go the movies at all but however it was, I was aware of it and that it was a very big deal.
I remember thinking how daring this movie was…presented on the silver screen, “as big as day”.  Through the experiences of our two biggest teen idols, Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee, we watched depictions of things that was heretofore off limits for discussion, even shocking.  Oh, how far we have come from that time!
This movie dramatized a time worth sharing with our young people today.   Though extremely contrived and forced a story, with poor, unimaginative dialogue, they will be provided a glimpse that suggests the way that we were back then.
I have since included it in my collection with a plan to view with my children and grandchildren. I can’t wait to hear their comments!
The theme song is quite possibly the most beautiful of all time. Percy Faith and his Orchestra was known for brilliant renditions of movie theme songs back then and especially for this one, composed by Max Stein.  I still listen to my old Columbia Music Club album of movie theme songs just to hear the extraordinarily beautiful Theme from a Summer Place.  The images, feelings and memories rushing into the room like the waves on the beach in the movie.  It is a musical masterpiece for all time.
I can’t decide if the Cinemascope technique is credited for how the ocean looks more beautiful, the sky clearer and bluer, the sun and the colors brighter…the people thinner.  I don’t know but I think that they actually were.  
How one memory opens the gate to so many other memories as it happens for me with this film never fails to amaze me.
I always enjoy watching A Summer Place, and in retrospect, in the scheme of things, it seems the theme is an apt prelude to the decade that would change everything.
Trailer to A Summer Place:
Theme to A Summer Place by Percy Faith and his orchestra.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Years had gone by without a single thought of the time in 1957 when I spent the summer with my grandparents on their farm in Virginia.  Then, in the midst of a prolonged illness, among all of the things my mind was sorting through, this forgotten experience drifted in.  Totally unprovoked and effortlessly revealing, I felt the need to write everything that I could remember, just as it presented itself to me.

And as I wrote, I became more and more immersed within the warmth and comfort of that time with my grandparents, so precious and dear to me now, as I realize after all how much meaning it brought to my life.

This glimpse into their world was written with love and a deep and ever-growing appreciation for my family, for my heritage.  It might well have been entitled , “The Gift”.

Two Little Girls by Charon Diane

http://booklocker.com/books/4718.html

https://barnesandnoble.com/w/two-little-girls-charon-                                              diane/1022157163?ean=9781609101374

https://www.amazon.com/Two-Little-Girls-Charon-Diane/dp/1609101375

* An excerpt from my book:

Two Little Girls

Chapter 1

As far as I was concerned, summer began with the day my father installed the screens in the windows. Early that morning, Mother would have taken the summer sheers from storage to the clothesline in our backyard. By the afternoon, she swooped up the freshened bundle and brought them back indoors to hang on the rods at the tops of the windows. When the transformation was complete, I’d run from room to room to see the curtains flying on the breeze that raced in through the windows of our big old house. Like a magical invitation to adventures possible only with summer, when one day melted into the next and no one asked about the time, I felt that I could fly too and that anything could happen.

There were 5 children in my family. My brother Lionel was the oldest; my sister Cecilia was next, followed by my sister Rose, then my brother Isaac, and me. We spent summertime totally absorbed in keeping pace with our friends as was our Mother in keeping up with us. She mended our scraped knees, our bruised egos, and the holes in my brothers’ dungarees. I remember lemonade and tuna sandwiches, cotton sun dresses and hair ribbons; the pennies I collected for the corner candy store, and my ankle socks that never stayed up. Summers seemed much longer then when hopscotch and jump rope, hide-and-seek and tag, dress-up and make-believe, with my bicycle, my dolls and friends filled the days until supper time. When August finally came around, among the five of us someone would be chosen to vacation with our grandparents in the country. It was in the year 1957 that I was to spend my first summer there.

I’d thought so often about my first trip to the farm. But like the landing of a cascading boulder, my mother’s cheerful delivery of this summer’s plan completely shattered my vision of it. Leaving little room for the way that reality alters things but similar to most events concerning “the children”, I was quite certain of my unvarying reverie. It was always the same.  My brothers and sisters are running through a country field with me, very happily and as usual, following close behind. But everything had been arranged and I alone would spend two weeks on the farm that year.

My family had gathered in the living room when Mother made the announcement. But my frustrating lack of enthusiasm was like a call to dinner in emptying the room of everyone and I found myself alone, save for the dog. While I struggled with the concept of being on my own, Spiky jumped onto the couch next to me. Placing his head upon my foot he kept a concerned and watchful eye over my disposition until we both fell asleep.

Later that day, I listened to Dad’s recollections of farm life adventures while Mother prepared supper. As she filled in with the finer points and particulars she’d taken note of my mixed feelings with her knowing smile that always took the sharp edges off of things. “Don’t forget that your cousin Joanna is just about your age and lives close to Grandpa‘s”, she nearly whispered. Then I thought of the pocket inside the little green suitcase as the place where my Jacks would find a perfect fit.

                                          ~~~~~~~ Truth is Beauty is Love ~~~~~~

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