Fast Times

Dear J-

At times I veer wildly into excess; after watching The King & I, for instance, I went and got a giant box set of the Rodgers and Hammerstein oevure, none of which I’ve watched since (Oklahoma! is waiting for me, as is Flower Drum Song). And as figgy sings little snatches of songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (“Toot Sweets” always gets an echo), I’m eyeing the Sherman Brothers next. As it turns out, they’re also responsible for Mary Poppins and, more significantly for me, Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

B&B is one of those movies I used to watch all the time as a kid, but somehow none of it sank in; because we used to tune into the Disney presentation Sunday nights on ABC, which they saved for their B-list (Earth Star Voyager, anyone?), We tended to watch the same films over and over. I remember the climax with empty suits of armor marching through the fields, but how or why they got there, I’m not sure. And yet that’s the way that most movies were for me those days: scenes like hurried phrases, like chorus lines without context.

It’s hard to know what’s going to sink in over the next few years; I am amazed by what she parrots back at times (we picked up a book in the store — Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? — because she recited the whole story to us; I suspect that she had been exposed to it at school). We’re privileged enough to watch it happen, though, and it’s been a blast so far.

Mike

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