AMBIENT THOUGHT – WATERSHED MOMENT: THE MISSION
This will be the last of seven Watershed Moments in my life. These are some of the most important moments in my life but not all of them. And they are not in any particular order except for the last one I talk about that will be posted on Sunday. After thinking about these moments for years, the one for Sunday is the one I keep coming to for being the most pivotal moment in how I became….well, me.
Life needs magic and hope. I learned that from… The Mission.
Let me set the time for you.
Halloween is over. It was a day that I looked forward all year. Not only for the candy (sweet, delicious candy) but how it made me feel. The sun, if it was out, didn’t rise to the top of the sky like in the summer. It gave off an ambient light. It felt more orange than yellow. More shadows can be seen during this time versus the summer.
This is a time that I love above all others.
The costumes are put up and I was thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas time beyond that. But they were still off in the future.
I had been watching this new show that was produced by Steven Spielberg called Amazing Stories. They were a call back to the comics from the 1950’s, a time before me but one that I completely understood. And this night, November 3rd, 1985, the episode was not only directed by Spielberg but an hour one. Most ran for only thirty minutes (about twenty without commercials).
I prepare to watch. I sit in my dad’s black recliner right in front of the TV in the den and do my best to not think about school the next day.
The show starts…
… and at the end of the show, I’m laughing and crying. I was transported. I had sat, literally, at the edge of my seat. I had sat wide-eyed and scared only to be shocked and then experienced a jolt of glee through my body and brain.
If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to go through the episode. I don’t want to tell you poorly on the story. I want you to see it yourself. If you have seen it, you may have not had the same experience that I did. Maybe you saw the ending coming from the beginning.
But I didn’t.
You see, the story fooled me. It threw me out a window from a highrise (or a WWII bomber) only to pull me back at the last second and hold me tight.
It showed me how important hope and magic is my life.
And that those two things can exist. And should be allowed to do so.
I sat there in the chair and thought about what I had seen. Then I raced upstairs to my parents who were watching another program. I had hoped that they had watched what I had just seen and was as excited about it was I was. But they had not. I tried to explain the show and the ending. They gave nods and ‘That’s nice’.
I went to school the next day and talked about with friends who had seen it but they weren’t as excited about as I was. It sort of broke my heart. Here’s a show, a thing, that had been so wonderful and life-changing and nobody felt the same as I had.
Since that hour I spent watching that episode, I have thought about regularly. I even bought the season of Amazing Stories with that episode to show to my wife and daughter. They liked it but didn’t get pulled in like I did. And it didn’t have the same effect.
I guess it was a special moment in time. It had to be a certain season and I had to be in a certain mindset. I had to like what I liked and my mind was open to it. All of these things happening at the same time allowed me to see something special.
Since then, I am drawn toward things that make me feel hopeful and allow me to believe in magic once again.
On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018, I had thought about this show without realizing thirty-three years to the date I had seen this episode for the first time. I thought about how much the show had changed my life, more than anything else I have ever experienced. It made me who I am. It helped form the husband and father I am. I know how that sounds but it’s true. I have thought about the things I love and more than a few stem from that one point in time.
So, think about your Watershed Moments and how they helped form your life, the way you think and the way you live. Maybe you can learn something.
Like I have.
-Loyd Elmore Jr.
November 11th, 2018
And for your viewing pleasure…