1978. Most of my friends wanted to be Sandy and were in love with Danny Zucko. Me? I had the hots for Knickie and wanted to be Rizzo. My friends and I were all crazy for Grease. It was watching that movie on the big screen about 10 times during that summer that galvanized my love of “The 50’s.” The music, the fashions, the drive-ins and the CARS!!!
When we moved to Islip in the summer on 2004, the suburban life was new for me, but not completely foreign. Even though I spent my grammar school years in downtown Flushing, my teen years and most of my adult life to that point was spent in the somewhat suburban settings of Glen Oaks, Floral Park and Bayside. I just figured it would be about the same out here but with more open space. Then one evening in September, I was picking up Catalina from Islip Middle School’s gym for basketball practice and there was insanity on Islip High School’s neighboring football field. It was Homecoming.
There were floats and jocks and cheerleaders and fans painted in purple and gold and the marching band. It was wild. The field was lit up with some of the brightest outdoor lighting I’d ever seen. Back towards the parking lot, there were teenagers clad in leather jackets and dressed in black. They figured they were too cool to join in with the nearby homecoming festivities and would have more fun watching and poking fun.
I was aghast. They never had any of this in Queens. I didn’t think stuff like this happened in real life. In fact, the only place it comes to mind where I saw this occur was…in Grease! You know when Danny and Sandy first realize they are both going to Rydell High? Sandy was a cheerleader and her crush (a young, blonde Lorenzo Lamas) was the quarterback and they were participating in all the fun. Meanwhile, the Pink Ladies and the T-birds were nearby making fun of the whole scene. That is until Rizzo brings Sandy over to Danny, reuniting these Summer Lovers. BAM! The worlds collide.
Anyway, I digress. One of my points is that even though I was born 20 years too late to live the 50s first hand, I now live someplace where I can be a part of traditions from a simpler time like Homecoming. It still is taking a bit for this Queens-girl to get used to but it just feels right.
My second point is for all you Greasers out there, especially if you are out here near me on Long Island’s South Shore. The Boulton Center for Performing Arts in Bay Shore has selected its next Wednesday Family Movie. It is none other than GREASE! The show starts at 7 p.m. on August 12th. Tickets are a mere $8 for adults and $5 for kids. Can you believe we can see this classic film again on the big screen? Catalina is so excited that she finally has the opportunity to! You can get the tickets at the door or you can buy them in advance. Here’s the link: http://www.boultoncenter.org/CalendarItem.aspx?eventId=257
I’ll see you there. I’ll be the one in the Pink Ladies satin jacket (yes, I own one). Waa-hooo, YEAH!