Something I never quite understood growing up was why my friends’ home movies were so incredibly dull. I mean, this kid is just opening presents. Where are the costumes? Where is the plot? Is anyone even directing this, or was the camera just left on accidentally? I realize that when making a movie at home, most of us are working with a limited budget, and special effects aren’t going to be Hollywood quality, but we can at least try, can’t we? You’ve got mirrors, you’ve got an orange velour mannequin head (wait, is that not something most people have?), you’ve got amazing wigs (and if you don’t, your local thrift store or a pile of yarn can help you out). Dig through the basement, dig through Grandma’s basement— make something happen in these movies! And don’t even get me started on Halloween.
Growing up, I had the honor to act in several productions at Grandma’s house—Hollywood parodies, murder mysteries, short horror films, music videos, and the like.
Today I’d like to take a little space to remember to the man that made such productions possible, to pay tribute to my Uncle Pat: screenwriter, producer, and director of some of the best home movies ever made, not to mention world traveler, experimental chef, amazing artist and, most importantly, creative and loving dad, uncle, brother, and son.
Today, my love goes out to all of those who remember and love him dearly, especially those closest to him: the boy I remember dressed to the nines (top hat, cane and all) dancing to “Pennies From Heaven,” the boy who couldn’t hear “no,”—your dad would be so proud of you both right now—the woman who played the doctor in “Call the Doctor,” the many other actors and extras who made appearances in the films (including all “chins” in the long-lost chin short)— you know who you are—and of course, Grandma,who knew better than to ever get involved.
7 years gone from this earth today, and we still ache from his absence, and give thanks for every moment we had him here with us. May his memory be eternal.
Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.
― James Joyce, Dubliners
I’ll see you all back here in a couple of days for the story of the week.