Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glade Park Movie: The Best of Summer Franch Fun

It was during college that we were turned on to Glade Park’s ‘Movie Under the Stars.’ Glade Park is a rural area perched atop the Colorado National Monument:

A quick Google search said that the housing density in Glade Park is one house per square mile. Compare that to 5,310 people per square mile around here, and that’s just downright depressing. But it’s also beside the point. It is a small town. On top of the monument. Every summer the fire department plays movies on the side of the fire house. There is usually a hokey country-western band playing, the kind where it is someone’s Aunt Hilda and Uncle Slim who like to play at family gatherings and such. Despite the lack of musical sophistication, it does suit the nostalgic ambiance. There is no one there to collect your money at the gate. In fact, there is no gate. You just wander in with your lawn chairs or a blanket and find a place to settle down. When you get settled, then you can find one of the firefighters and give him your 50 cent admission. With that, you get a raffle ticket. On the side of the field there is an old fire engine, refitted to become a grill. You step up on the sideboard and order a hamburger or hotdog. I think hamburgers were a whopping $1.50. For that price, you don't even have to share! There was a little concession stand that also sold my favorite concession stand candy: the Jolly Rancher stick. And, they had fireballs. Seriously, how can you go wrong? So, after you have spent your $4.00 or so on a movie admission, food and candy, you can return to your blanket and sit down to watch the movie. At dusk, it begins. At least they begin to try and get the movie running. It took a little finagling a few of the times we went, but when it comes on, it’s well worth it. Sitting out under the stars in the cool evening air with friends, enjoying a watermelon Jolly Rancher and watching the Three Stooges. It can’t get much better really. About half way through the movie, they pause it to draw a winner of the raffle. This usually involves someone fishing around for a flashlight, and them someone else looking for the raffle tickets. When all the necessary components are located, they draw a few names out of the hat. The prizes were things like a stuffed animal, or a donated gift certificate. I was always in awe that for 50 cents, not only did you get to see a movie but had a chance to win a prize too. After the prizes were given away, the movie went back on. The drive home was the perfect ending to an already wonderful evening. Driving down the edge of the monument at night gave us a clear view of the valley below. Once or twice I even got Jeff to stop so we could get out and look at the stars. There is nothing like looking into a sky so vast and dark that you feel like the ground is moving underneath you. Now that I've waxed eloquent about the 'good ol' days,' I think I might have to check into going again when we visit this summer.

***Disclaimer: I am SICK, sleep-deprived, and generally feel like poo so if this post sounds disjointed, random or non-sensicle, that's why. Heck! I can't even figure out how to spell non-sensacle. Sensical? Oh, I give up!

1 comment:

mcwigginseses said...

I agree that the Glade Park movie is one of the best summer pastimes around. Remember that time we went with Cindy and she brought her dog? And you made those sugar cookies with like a pound o' butter? That was fun.