I live in a part of the world that becomes Yard Sale Central about this time of year. There are dozens of homes with front yards piled with junk that a junk junkie like me loves to root through.
Last weekend I struck gold.
Normally, I bypass the boxes of old VHS tapes because, well, I pride myself on being state of the art. A cutting edge showbiz early adopter with no further use for them.
But one of my neighbors had bemoaned the fact that his VHS copy of “Woman of the Dunes” had rewound itself to the point of disintegration, so I was seeing what I could find to cheer him up.
And there –- sitting atop a big pile of tapes was a movie I had loved when I was a teenager, a film that had never (to the best of my knowledge) ever even been released on video --“Seaside Swingers” starring “Freddie & The Dreamers” and a bunch of other now forgotten British Invasion era singers and actors.
I must’ve seen that movie ten times with ten different dates. It was about – well, it doesn’t really matter what it was about. What’s important was I spent the rest of the day finding my long ago turfed VHS machine, reconnecting it and getting ready to relive one of those halcyon days of my youth.
Only, five minutes in, I realized this was probably the worst fricken movie ever made. Jeez, what a piece of crap! No wonder I saw it with ten different girls! No woman in their right mind would have had anything more to do with me after being subjected to it.
By the time I finally turned it off, I’d begun to wonder just how much else of the swinging sixties weren’t really as special as I remembered them…
Nostalgia’s funny like that. We all recall things different from the way they really were. Maybe in the same way that other people keep predicting futures that never happen. You know, the guys always talking about flying cars, monetizing the Internet or CBC reflecting the true nature of Canadians.
Somebody who has a handle on both ends of that, both the past and the future versions, is Canadian artist and illustrator Bruce McCall.
Bruce got his start drawing cars for the Ford Motor Company in Toronto in the 1950’s, spent many years in advertising and then went to New york where he got famous at the National Lampoon.
The creator of a half dozen books that guarantee many afternoons of actual rolling around on the floor laughing, McCall has dubbed his work “serious nonsense” with a notable sub-section of inaccurate memory entitled “Faux Nostalgia”.
Trust me, he’s guaranteed to help you –- Enjoy Your Sunday.