Puttered, basically. At 3pm I was to project a movie in the auditorium. At 2pm I took the old macbook down and made sure I could drive the projector with it. I wanted to show something prior to the main feature. Poking around on YT I found a 1976 performance of Rhapsody in Blue with Leonard Bernstein at the piano. Seventeen minutes long, perfect, I started that at 2:42 and lowered the lights and started the real movie at 3 on the dot. Felt very pro. Just like being in high school in the 50s and being the nerdy kid who ran the 16mm projector.
The movie was Belfast by Kenneth Branagh, about growing up amid the Protestant/Catholic riots of the 1960s, with lots of songs by Van Morrison.
Dennis has been going through albums of stuff, organizing to write about his past, and he came upon a picture of me and Marian, Emil, Cecil, and Joyce, with a “Bon Voyage” banner, dated in Cecil’s hand, May 1976. This confused me because I was sure we had started our two-plus years in England in 1975. But! During that time we kept a diary. It would have been a blog, except blogs didn’t exist then. Thirty years later, in 2006, we scanned it to digital and edited it, and I knew it existed, so today I found it and here is the very first entry. Tell me the tone and style of this sounds familiar:
Friday 28 May 1976
Up at 6 am in Flamingo Motel on El Camino . Rang up Joyce in the Folks’ room as promised; said “This is an obscene phone call… when you have your pencil & paper ready we’ll begin…” Had coffee in motel restaurant and set out. Dropped Emil at bus depot. Goodbyes. Left Joyce & Cecil at airport. More Goodbyes — ech. All checked in in fine style, with 1-1/2 hours free; had more coffee. TWA 760 lightly loaded to LA; there, had 90 min. layover, very dull. Immense crowd of people then boarded. Not so badly jammed as prior BOAC flight.
My writing, no doubt at all. Except for the date, that could have come out of this blog.
Anyway, what that establishes is that we left to begin our England assignment in 1976, not 1975. And it exactly fits with the picture Dennis found, which would have been taken the night before. (The reason we were all staying in the old Flamingo Hotel on El Camino is, we had rented our Tasso street house and had already moved out.)