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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
February 27, 2013     Walsh County Press
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February 27, 2013

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II PAGE 12 THE PRESS FEBRUARY 27, 2013 North Dakota's Feathered Friends Loggerhead Shrike By Jon Fjeld The Loggerhead Shrike is rarely seen and has very interesting habits. They are often called "The Butcher Bird" be- cause they impale their prey on thoms or barbed wire fences and come back later to Jon Field, Park River, ND feed. Editor & Note: Jan ffjeld is a Park River artist whose artwork can be seen on buildings all around Park River. He will be doing a month- ly art piece in the Press featuring North Dako- ta's feathered friends. YOUR LUNGS NOW HAVE A LARGER CAPACITY TO SMILE. Thank you. North Dakota voters. The recent passage of Measure 4 means our new comprehenswe smoke-free taw will save tEves by making aU indoor pubtic places and work pieces smoke-free. Now everyone in the state has the right to breathe dean, healthy air. Join us at ______",o. 1 ii!!:ii" ! 0 :[: AMER'CANLuNG C "CI,,,,, Asspc!AT) N" Have you read the Start or renew your subscription: In.County $34/Out.of.County $38/Out.of.State $42 P.O. Box 49, Park River, ND 58270 I Memories of a movie hall Part II: Cohcessions, previews, shadows past By David Larson ' for The Press When Dad put up money for a show, he often added an extra dime or even 15 dents. There was al- ways a girl at the concession stand ready to sell you whatever was at the counter. There were many girls over the years, but I recall only Mary Cowger. The popcorn (they, served it in small bags or boxes in those days) smelled just as good as it does today. The butter made it fit for a king, and with lots of fine popcorn salt it was food for an Em- peror. But--your taste buds that evening might have tended toward the sweet. Mary, or whoever was behind the counter, could sell you exotic treats like Three Muske- teers, Milky Way, Bit O' Honey, Valomilk, Good 'n Plenty, Mint Patties, Jujubes, or the like. For me, though, there was only one choice in candy, Milk Duds, with their long-lasting, filling-pulling caramel, buried under a thick coat- ing of chocolate. They should have lasted the entire movie, but no kid with a sweet tooth as big as mine could eat something that yriOOd slowly. Several times at the c I showed that Gordy's boy lind the makings of a scientist: I p.roduced, empirical evidence that it Is possible for a person to get an entire box of half-chewed Milk Duds into his mouth at one time. But my story has skipped ahead from the concession stand to pre- pubescent gustatory delight. Let's go back to buying those luscious Milk Duds. There was probably no change needed, being that I had little money, so I would go down lo the kids' section, and no so care- fully plop myself into a seat, referably one on the aisle. The ld-down seats were of a durable brown leather that made a whoosh- ing sound when you sat down. The aisle s6ats had an embossed metal plate on the outside underneath the armrest. When the movie got slow, your fingers could play around ;uith the metal, or even the small light bulb on some of them that very dimly lit the downward-slop- ing aisles. If a person was really bored by the movie, if, for exam- ple, the movie was something dull andpsychological, like "The Four Poster", he could count the num- tber of dried pieces of gum on the bottom of the seat or under the armrest. I used to think that the theater naanagement was being really nice Ito us kids by letting us sit up in front close to the screen where we wouldn't'miss anything. It wasn't until I started paying adult fare that I came to realize that it made a lot of sense to concentrate the noise and disruption as far as possible from the full-paying audience. It was a raucous bunch, jabbering constantly until the cartoon came. Then attention was rapt for five minutes until the post-cartoon filler came on. 1"he jabbering resumed, though a bit subdued, until the pre- views began. In the thirty-second iinterval between the previews and the feature the jabber-poke-tussle hit a peak of intensity, only to be silenced when the screen lit up 'again. But I have just gotten ahead of :my story again: it's just like I'm a 0000000000000000000000000000000 Share your Lyric Theater memories. , Write in to P0 Box 49 Park River ND or wepress@polareomm.eom 000000000000000 0000000000000000 kid again, looking forward to the film. Let's go back to the Milk Dud-laden entry into the kids' sec- tion. As I recall I always got there early, so as not to miss any of the comedy. There was always music, there was always the SAME music, no matter what the movie was. Somewhere in the projection booth there was a phonograph at- tached to the PA system, and it played the same set of records played every evening, night after night; year after year. I'd be will- ing to bet that if someone today, even after fifty years and more, were to play "Little Red Monkey" for me, the words, those insipid, dull, and meaningless words, would .come tumbling back. One wonders how I grew up to be a (relatively) norinal human being with those repetitive, simplistic, trivial, tiresome words, "Little red monkey, monkey, monkey/Little red monkey..," clogging the brain space that could have been used for storing something' useful. Then there was another monkey-related song, about a guy named Red, and it was even worse. The chorus went something like this: "Run, Red, run, 'cause he's got your gun, and he's a-aimin' it at your head,...Red, you made a man outta me, I'm a'gonna make a monkey out of you." The title and the verses, mercifully, I have forgotten over the years. Other pieces of music blai'ed out at the customers, making similar claims to immor- tality. (As I was revising this an- other piece scuttled out of the recesses of my mind: "He wore a (pause) blue Fedora, (pause) blue Fedora (pause).tilted over his eye..." At some point the music abruptly stopped, the signal the evening's performance was about to begin. First, always, came the cartoon. From the first bars the front-section regulars could tell whether it would be Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, or Donald Duck. Sometimes though there would be someone different, Little Lulu, or Little Audrey, or perhaps Heckle and Jeckle, or Tom and Jerry, or Mr. Magoo, or Gerald McBoing- boing ("You're not Gerald McCoy, you're Gerald McBoingboing, the noisemaking boy"). But the cartoon, whether it fea- tured Little Audrey having a night- mare because she had fallen asleep while reading by moonlight, or Bugs stealing Elmer Fudd's car- rots, or Woody pecking away at. Tackhammer's head for no reason at all, the cartoon quickly reached the "Th, th, th, th, that's all folks" stage, and it was time for the news. The newsreels are exotic strangers to citizens of the new video world. For half a century now and more we have been able to quick video reportg via tele- wson. Now we have iPads and iPhones for even quicker access. It's hard to imagine not having the video access, but such was the sit- uation with the video-starved folks of the early 1950s. The weekly newsreels provided some visuat contact with the outside world. They always had the same brisk in- troductory music and fast-paced video intros, which always in- cluded a one-second shot of women doing some synchronized water skiing. The announcers, al- ways men, always excited about something, had beautiful voices that captivated your interest, whether they were commenting on the Korean War, the Royal Family, or the 1949 earthquake in Ecuador (I can still remember one scene in which most of a building still stood firm and seemingly undamaged, but an entire external wall on one side had fallen away so you could see the apartments inside). Sometimes there followed a travelogue--much to the dismay of the front-seats section. This de- picted exotic places, usually in color, from anywhere on the globe. The only part of them that I re- member was the conclusion to a segment on India: "And now as the sun sets on beautiful Bundi .... " Even then the power of artistic al- literation attracted me, even though I didn't know the word, and was eager to get on with the evening's entertainment. Next came the part that I would most gladly have dispensed with, the ads, called "Business Brevi- ties." I cannot remember anything visual about these ads, and that is a sure indication of just how effec- tive they were, considering how many radio and TV jingles from the 50s that still clang around in- side my head ("Winston tastes good, like a (click, click) cigarette should," "Suddenly it's 1960, 1960, on wheels. When you see and drive a Plymouth, Plymouth, you'll know how 1960 feels!" "Serutan is 'natures' spelled back- ward", and the like). The only Brevity I can remember at was from John Bures' local Fairway Market. Mr. Bures had emigrated long before from Bohemia, and had abandoned, the old-country pronunciation (Boo'-resh) for the inevitable Americanization of "Burrz". When the announcer talked about Bur'ez Fairway, the youthful section erupted in catcalls and snorts of general contempt at the man's ignorance. Finally the Brevities ended, and there appeared with relentless reg- ularity another cheery, mindless ditty that haunts me until this very day: "Popcorn! Popcorn! We all love popcorn! Let's all pop out for Pop...corn!" There was just enough time to go to Mary, or whoever was on duty that evening, and get a pre-feature box hot out of the popper. But that would mean a person would have to miss at least part of the "Previews of Com- ing Attractions:"over a century. You can still hear them spea, king, ever so softly, if you listen. To be concluded... The Press has an internship with your name on It. North Dakota Newspaper Foundation Ed Foundation is offering: Ten - $1,000 Internships for lege students (minimum eight weeks) and. five - $200 Int4)mshtps for high 1 Mudent (minimum four weeks), Applications for 2013 O.J, Shutl tntemsh|p are due March 8, Call the Press at 701-284-6333 Today! i i