Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Classic Film Fan Travels to Indiana

I recently went on a business trip to Indiana. Whenever I travel, I leave my regular life behind in Massachusetts but somehow, on this particular trip, classic films seemed to follow me into the depths of the Midwest.

1) Hitchcock's Box of Mints

I was staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Brownsburg, Indiana during my trip. It is by far the best hotel I've stayed at in Indiana. The morning after my arrival, I woke up refreshed and ready for an early cup o' joe. A lady at the banquet area was passing out boxes of mints. Now I'm never one to turn down freebies, so I graciously accepted the tiny box. Each box had a trivia question on the back and the answer on the bottom. And wouldn't you figure, I got the box with a classic film question on it. It read:

Q: Where is the school in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds located?

A: Bodega Bay, CA
How cool is that?

2) Classic Film Networking

Whenever I meet new people, my love of classic films ends up working it's way into the conversation. It's inevitable. When I had dinner with my boss and some people from 2 other book publishers, I ended up talking to two women who just happen to be classic film fans. We talked about how much we loved TCM (and griped about how the best movies are shown at ungodly hours). I mentioned to one of the women how I loved her company's annual Movie Poster calendar and had been buying it religiously for the past 5-6 years. She offered to send me 2009's calendar, but I had already purchased it. I mentioned that I had a classic film blog and the other lady wanted me to send her the address so she could read it!

3) Knitting The Letter

I am a scaredy-cat flyer. There is no question about that. It doesn't matter that I've been flying since I was 20 days old (I got my first passport when I was 10 days old), itis still a terrifying experience for me. It's worse if I haven't flown in a while, and not having done so in over a year made this recent experience quite painful. Luckily, I had something to distract me. My friend Lisa recently taught me how to knit. I brought my knitting needles, ball of yarn, and scarf-in-progress to the airport. By some miracle, the TSA allows knitting needles on planes. We had two 3-hour delays and 2 2-hour flights in the span of 2 days, so needless to say I had a lot of downtime (which I sometimes refer to as freak-out time). Knitting helped me calm my nerves. The concentration on the different knots as well as the repetitive motions helped relax me. It put me in mind of Bette Davis' character Leslie Crosbie in The Letter (1940). She played a married woman living in Malay who, having shot down her lover, was facing trial for said murder. Throughout the film you see her doing lacework to calm her nerves. When she finishes her project, she wears it in a pivotal scene.

Attorney Howard Joyce: [on the subject of her lacework] It must take enormous concentration and patience.
Leslie: I find it soothing.
Howard: You mean it... takes your mind off other things?

This just shows that over the past 6 years or so, classic films have really woven themselves into my life. And it's not so bad. Not so bad at all.


  1. I just put up this banner this week. Now I'll think of you knitting away when I see it on my flickr account.

  2. That's so funny! Great Minds Think Alike.

    I love your banners by the way Jonathan. They are wonderful.

  3. Yes, sometimes I get confused between 'movie world' and 'real world' too.. The latter can disappear for days, and then I wake up! You tell these anecdotes beautifully..

  4. My last long trip was by train. Talk about old movie experiences. Meeting strangers in the dinning car and sharing coversation over a meal served on real plates and not Styrofoam or plastic containers, real silverware, tablecloths, real flowers in a budvase and real USA rolling past you.

    The sleeping car attendant making up your berth. Taking walks down to the last car to stretch your legs and explore.

    It was a little disappointing that nobody broke into song, no international spy ring accosted me, and Cary Grant was not waiting for me in my room. Other than that, I guess it was swell.

  5. Please tell us where we can order the calendar you refer to. Thank you.

  6. Ben - It can all be a blur sometimes huh? I like to think I can merge the two worlds and create my own little one.

    Jacqueline - Oh do those types of trains exist? I would love to go on one!

    Brad - Good point. I added a link to Powell's website to the post in case you wanted to check it out. It's published by Universe.


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