Mom, Up With The Stars   7 comments

Glamor Mom

So there I was, a little kid, really, laying on my stomach on the living room floor.   That’s how the small set viewed television, at least back then, when TV sets weren’t flat screens but part of the furniture.  This show, Star Trek, was on and Mom was glued to it.  Only a few years later, she’d do the same with Tom Baker’s version of Dr. Who.

Every Saturday afternoon, she’d turn on Channel 17 in the kitchen and watch whatever horror movies they happened to play.  I’d turn on the set in the living room and watch from the couch.  Mom peeked up from the ironing board, giant pot of dinner or pile of something she happened to be tending to at the time, and me, well, I’d be there, glued in stupefied fascination over the ridiculous plots.  I mean, come on.  A giant moth taking over a city?  I never could get used to lips not moving in sync to the voices that never quite seemed to match up to the person speaking them.

Still, countless Saturday afternoons with Mom went by, watching an enormous man tangle with electric wires as his former girlfriend implored him to stop, or yet another man shrunk down shorter than the grass he hid in contemplating the stars.  Why were the victims generally men?  Sure, occasionally you had the disfigured, angry woman out to kill whomever did this to her, but on the whole, it was some luckless fellow falling down a hole, getting sprayed with a mysterious liquid, blasted by X/gamma/nuclear/unknown rays and having his soul wrenched from him as his body contorted/transformed/vaporized into an unrecognizable mass that wreaked havoc in the nearest city…and always a city.

Mom’s fascination with this stuff naturally influenced mine, except I developed a liking to those story lines that involved spaceships, aliens, misguided off-world adventures, and the like.  I still think one of the best vintage sci-fi films is The Day The Earth Stood Still (the one that stars Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie), and so did Mom.  Klaatu had it going on, and I thought he should have taken Patricia Neal with him, maybe the kid, too.  That would have been a good story.  Neither Mom nor I didn’t think much of the remake with Neo, but it did have its merits.

What Mom didn’t find to satisfy her thirst for science fiction adventure, she found up in the evening skies, when she was so inclined to peek at them.  By the time I was in the sixth grade, I spent many an hour glancing up at them and I always told her what I saw, even showing Comet Kohoutek to her (a MAJOR disappointment).  Occasionally a planet might wander by or an eclipse might occur.  Come to think of it, my first total eclipse of the sun was shared with Mom, back in the 1970s.  How amazing that in the afternoon all the lights went on in the street, the birds stopped singing and a few bright stars appeared as the sun played coy with the moon.  We stood outside, afraid to look at it but in the end taking a quick peek during totality, gasping at that miracle of nature.

As years went by, my mother never lost her love for stuff not readily explainable, either via television or the movies.  Once, she and my father even saw what they believed to be several UFOs flying over the coast, where they lived.  That confirmed their belief by hundreds of reports the next day, covered both in the paper and on the morning news.  We watched as the real Enterprise went piggyback on a plane, then as all the space shuttles, SkyLabs, ISS and anything else that left this planet went up and aided the Earth’s population, scientific and otherwise, to explore whatever lie out there and beyond.

On May 24, 2014, my mother went up there in the heavens to become one with the stars.  I’d like to think she currently resides there, since she took so much interest in them.  She had a very peaceful journey, laying down to take a nap from which she never awoke.  There was nothing truly wrong with her, said the doctor, apart from it was her time.  Mom had 85 action-packed years and I’d like to think they were all incredibly interesting ones.  She leaves behind her family, terribly sorry to see her go and missing her every day.

I couldn’t write a single word of this blog until now.  Nothing came to mind.  Then, just like magic, the memories of how I’d laugh and joke with Mom over those vintage Saturday afternoon sci-fi groaners we used to watch together popped into my mind.

I’d like to think Mom put that there.

Bye, Mom!  I’ll see you in the stars…

7 responses to “Mom, Up With The Stars

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  1. So sorry to hear your sad news. It’s a lovely thought that your Mom has now become one of the stars in the sky and looks down at you every night. My thoughts are with with you and your family at this sad time.

  2. Thanks for your kind words. It is indeed a difficult time but I’d like to think that at least one of those heavenly twinkles is meant for me, as a gift from Mom!

  3. On another note, to do with your post, do you recall a film called “Attack of the 50 foot woman”? It came to my mind when you said that most of the victims seem to be men. I may have got the title wrong but I remember the film quite well. She would have certainly scared me being that tall.

    • Yes! There was that remake at some point in the 90s, but I remember the original. I remember a similar scene with power lines about a man who grew to similar heights and was ripping them apart. He grew bald and wore some kind of skirt. It’s been nagging me what that film was called. Then there was some kind of Japanese TV series I think was called “Shazam” or something like that, that also involved a 50 foot-ish kind of guy in a suit and kids summoned him. Any of these ring a bell?

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