|I needed to go to our Blockbuster which is on Deleware Avenue
just beyond the Spectrum 7 Theatres to take back my overdue
movies: "The Millionairess", with Rock Hudson and Anita Ekberg;
"The Long Goodbye", with Eliot Gould; and David Lynch's "Lost
Highway". I had wanted to get Groucho Marx in "Night at
Casablanca" and "Mambo Kings" with Tito Puente, but the teenage-
movie-buff-clerk on duty that night told me both films
were in moritorium.
"Both films?" I asked him.
"Yep," he replied.
"What's a moritorium," I asked.
"Well, I don't exactly know," he said, "but that's where they
"Whatever for?" I asked.
"It has something to do with communism, the embargo
of Cuba, and other remnants of the cold war," he said.
"What?" I said.
"Actually, it's a matter of economics. The studios are probably
planning a new updated re-release of the films, so they take the
existing copies out of circulation to build interest and then
when they release the millenium version, they can charge more
money for it," he explained.
"That makes sense," I responded. "I'll just take these three
films for tonight, thank you."
As I'm driving in my Volvo past the Spectrum 7 where they're
currently showing: "Small Time Crooks", "Up at the Villa", "East
is East", "The Virgin Suicides", "Time Code", "Bossa Nova" and
"Shanghai Noon", a man comes on the radio and starts telling me
more and more, about some useless information which is suppossed
to fire my imagination, so I switch the channel to WGNA, the local
country music station and hear a kind of country-talking-blues-
rockabilly-folk song about a guy named Joe. Seems Joe was driving
in his rusted-out Buick, heading towards the 7-11 when he sees
an old woman at the side of the road, standing next to her Mercedes.
Joe stops and goes over to the woman to offer her some help.
her tire is flat and nobody would stop to help her.
"No problem, maam," says Joe. "I'll have 'er fixed for you in
no time flat."
"Oh thank you son," says the old woman, "you're a life saver."
Moments later, the tire is fixed, and Joe's dusting off his hands.
The old woman takes her purse and tries to offer Joe some money.
"No thank you maam," says Joe. "That's not necessary. I've
been in this sort of fix many times myself."
"Really," she says, "you must take something."
"No maam," says Joe. "But, if you want to pay me back, just
don't break this chain of love. Next time you get a chance,
do something for someone else. That's all the payment I need."
They get in their cars, and head on down the highway.
In a little while, she comes to a roadside cafe and though
it's almost midnight, the cafe's open, so she stops, goes in, and
takes a table near the door. The waitress comes over to take
her order, coffee-cream-no-sugar and a donut, and the old woman
sees right away that the waitress is eight months pregnant and
dead on her feet.
The old woman finishes up her snack, hands the waitress a bill
with the check, and as the waitress is getting her the
change from the register, the old woman hurries out the door.
The waitress comes back to the table with change for $100 and
finds this note, written on a napkin...
Take this money with my regards, I've been there
myself, before. Don't think you have to pay me
back, that's not necessary. But if you want to
do something for me, just don't break this chain
of love. Next time you get the chance, do something
good for someone else.
With tears in her eyes, the waitress goes home for the night
and finds her man in bed, sound asleep. She crawls into bed
and snuggles up next to him. She kisses his cheek and then
whispers softly in his ear, "Good night, Joe, I love you."
Guitars twanging in the background, I changed the channel over
to NPR. The news was on. There was a report about the activities
of the Supreme Court. Yesterday's decisions. Top of the docket,
the Court denied grandparents visitation rights, upholding the
mother who had objected; by a 6-3 vote ending her seven year
struggle to overturn a Washington state law which gave grand-
parents broad latitude in seeking visitation with their grand-
Tommie Granville was in dispute with the parents of
her two daughters' father who had killed himself in 1993. Tommie
was willing to grant the grandparents, the Troxels, a few hours
per month, but they struggled in court to get one weekend per
month and one week in the summer.
The Troxels have 10 other grandchildren. The grandfather, Gary
Troxel, is a former member of the rock band, The Fleetwoods,
which recorded such hits as "Mr. Blue" and "Come Softly to Me".
Gary Troxel has two gold records in his house and still performs
with the group on occassion.
The grandmother, Jenifer Troxel, says "Gary was quite well known
in the music world, and these girls have a right to know him
Tammie's lawyer says "They were never denied visitation. It was
a control thing. These people became like the Elian Gonzalez
Speaking for the Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Conner said, "We
do not, and need not, define today the precise scope of the
parental due process right in the visitation context. Because
much state court adjudiction in this context occurs on a case-
by-case basis, we would be hesitant to hold that specific
non-parental visitation statutes violate the Due Process Clause
on a per se matter."
When I got to the Blockbuster, they were closed. I dropped the
videos in the night-time drop-slot. I guess I'll have to pay
the overdue fees next time I go back to rent a film.
Maybe by then "Mambo Kings" will be out of moritorium?