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Portals of Glory, Visions of Wonder
In my last year of high school in Franklin, Virginia, somewhere around 1950, I was a Future Farmer of America, raising chickens and some rows of sweet potatoes as class projects, but whenever possible, on weekends, I would often be found, with my bothers, Pete and David, at the Lyon's State Theater on Main Street, watching movies, mostly third-rate westerns. At some point, I was recommended by a fellow classmate to replace him as a student projectionist on a high school work-release program at this very theater. Of course I was eager to do it, as this already was one of my most favorite places to be! And so, I became a trainee in this awesome booth of precision projection equipment. suddenly I was not only watching the show, but putting it on - and even being paid! "What a deal!" I thought.
Early in the afternoon, I would be there setting up the film reels for the day's schedule, splicing short subjects, (trailers, i.e., previews; news reels, cartoons, "The Three Stooges," etc.) together with the main feature and loading the first two reels into the mechanism of those humongous arc-light projectors, getting ready for the afternoon matinee, in this booth at the very back of a quite long balcony that stretched out over the main audience toward the screen. At the appropriate time, I would lower the lights and start the generic pre-show music as gentle streaks of colored light played across the large red curtain covering the screen. Then, with everything set up and not a finger to spare, I would fade the colored lights and the music while activating the motor and light switches on the first projector. Then, it was Show Time!
I loved what I was doing, and therefore, took particular care to do it well. And I learned so much from the visions and wonders I viewed through the small window portal of that projection booth. I was being vividly transported into other lives and worlds. If the movie was one I especially liked, I watched it over and over with rapt attention as I waited for the crucial cue marks indicating a switch-over from one reel and projector to the other.
I used to even go to certain movies at times, even when I was not the projectionist, if there was something I especially wanted to see. On one such occasion, I talked my dear Mother Gertrude into going with me to see the H. Rider Haggard fantasy, She (1935, with Randolph Scott and Helen Galhagen). It was quite thrilling to me, a story of explorers finding a lost realm within the glaciers that was ruled over by the immortal queen, known as "She," or, as the natives referred to her, "She who must be obeyed!" I think it amused Mama, as well. (She was not a big movie goer.) There were other stories that caused my imagination to soar, among them King Solomon's Mines (1950, with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr), Unconquered (1947, with Gary Cooper), and the immortal All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, with Lew Ayers).
Next Story: Is life prescient of its own future, or is it just that amazing coincidences do occur? It was almost 20 years after my high school movie projection days that I found myself interviewing for the position of associate pastor at a big, old "pre-Revolutionary" Congregational (UCC) church in Wilton, Connecticut, circa 1967. What immediately caught my eye as we toured the facilities was a little window, high up on the back of the huge social meeting room, or auditorium, that was connected by hallways to the main sanctuary. This tiny window reminded me of the little viewing window at the Lyon's State Theater in Franklin, Virginia, where, from my projector's booth, I used to gaze at strange and wondrous visions passing before me on the silver screen. I think that, in addition to the exceptional warmth and intelligence of the people at this church in Wilton, seeing the theatrical/cinematic potential of that little back window in this huge open hall was a big deciding factor in my accepting the job, one of the very best choices I ever made!
-- Bill Joyner
It is never too late to be
what you might have been.
-- George Eliot
We have no time to lose and must scramble for our chances. We are too poor to be late.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.
-- Emily Dickinson
Our correspondences have wings - paper birds that fly from my house to yours - flocks of ideas criss-crossing the country. Once they're opened, a connection is made. We are not alone in the world.
-- Terry T. Williams Refuge
Phone (323) 466-2157 / Fax
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Break the dance, and scatter the song; Let some depart, and some remain; Wherever we fly we lead along in leashes, like star-beams, soft and strong, the clouds that are heavy with love's sweet rain.
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
I turn over my little omelet in the frying pan for the love of God. When it is finished, if I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and adore my God from whom the grace came to make it. After that, I get back up, more content than a king. When I cannot do anything else, it is enough for me to have picked up a straw from the ground for the love of God. The time of business is no different from the time of prayer. I possess God as tranquilly in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, where sometimes several people ask me different things at the same time, as I were on my knees before the Blessed Sacrament.
-- Brother Lawrence, The Patron of Pots and Pans
Go love without the help of anything
on earth! Joyce Cary The Horse's Mouth
Real Life Hollywood
America The Beautiful
Funny Times Subscriptions * P.O. Box 18530 Dept. 4AL * Cleveland Heights, OH, 44118
Twice I have been a professional "disher," once at a Lums restaurant here in Sarasota, also at The Mel-O-Dee. Most of what I know about this art, I learned from my son Bryant, who visited me earlier, when I was trying to be an assistant manager at Lums. He pitched in as a volunteer dishwasher on my behalf several times, and everyone agreed that his promptitude in that role was absolutely amazing. His creed seemed to be, "Never turn your back on a dirty dish!" Well, a few years later, when I was living around the corner from this place and needing some part-time work, I asked if they had anything. "Only a part-time dish-washing job," the manager-ette said. And I went for it like Bre'r Rabbit took to the briar patch - remembering Bryant's great example! It's also when I came by some to be known as "Mr. Bill."
-- Bill Joyner
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more!
-- Bob Dylan
If you neglect your work, you will dislike it; if you do it well, you will enjoy it.
-- Sidney Smith
Even a small space won for independent and free activity is a space for genuine life.
-- Julius Tomin (Czech philosopher and Night Watchman at the Prague Zoo)
Do not negotiate positions but interests, the real goals that lie behind positions. Separate the peo9ple negotiating from the problem being negotiated.
-- Lance Morrow
There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontentment. And there is no greater disaster than greed.
-- Lao Tzu
There is no wealth but life.
-- John Ruskin
To the extent we can approach our job as an amateur (from the Latin Amore meaning To Love) we will be successful in our work. When we pursue a thing for love, we are free to fumble and make mistakes. The course of our work may not run smoothly, but we are open to possibilities, embracing everything we have contact with. Our vision is not narrowed by convention.
-- Jan Steward & Corita Kent Learning By Heart
Again and Again
We must be born again and again
or the life of God's love remains unlived.
This Being, whose name is Love,
is buried alive in each of us,
struggling to rise from the dead debris of our own doubt.
THE 2002 SEED CATALOG CALENDAR!
Short reviews and stories about films on video that you might like to check out. The format will be much the same as the 2001 Calendar - The Soul Seed Circus.
Printed and spiral
bound 11½" x 14" calendar available for advance orders for $7.50 per copy
including mailing cost - for more information contact Bill Joyner
The 2001 Seed Catalog
Calendar - "The Soul Seed Circus" is still available for $4.50
The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
-- or any expression of interest. I try to do at least 6 issues a year. Thanks for tuning in!
--Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230
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