I often hope that I am not alone in having my personality traits greatly influenced by ritualistic viewing of the Golden Age of Motion Pictures. I speak of the two-hour matinee absorbed through every molecule of my being while perched on the furthermost corner of our living room sofa closest to our fireplace mantle that held our tiny Black and White.
With after-school parents away providing for the "roof over our heads", a brother once noticed and immediately forgotten, a house blissfully silent but for melodic tones of dialogue, I was left to catalog the person I wanted to become. (Holly's wonderful shaker patterns found here!)
I wanted to become Jeanne Crain. I wanted to be plucky like her Ernestine in "Cheaper By the Dozen", and in love with William Holden just as her Margie would be, and most of all I wanted to be beautifully melancholy as her Margy in "State Fair", hopeful that spring would bring with it True Love.
Musical scores known by heart, I would dance my way around our furniture as graceful as any movie actress only to quickly reclaim my place when Jeanne Crain would speak her next line. I didn't want to miss a moment that I hadn't noticed before.
The thought never occurred to me that Jeanne Crain might be anything other than the characters she portrayed in my favorite films or that I would be setting myself apart from my peers by taking on her demeanor. I just knew that I wanted to be wholesome and kind and someone who was plucky enough to end up with the handsome leading man.
And I am happy to say, I am all of these things; and I did end up with someone who was looking for just those qualities.
Thank you, Jeanne Crain!
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