As a young girl, I spent many weekends with Grammy. After lunch one Saturday afternoon in early March, I sat next her. Together we scanned the local newspaper looking for films being featured that weekend at the Palace Theater, a 20-minute bus ride from her house into downtown Dallas. After selecting our film, off we went hand-in-hand, strolling towards the bus stop. Well, we weren’t actually holding hands, for Grammy always dressed in her hat and gloves for the “picture show” and carried her parasol, twirling it as we walked. Together we sang our favorite song, “Singing in the Rain” while waiting for the bus to ferry us downtown.
Once downtown, the bus bolted to a halt and we stepped onto the sidewalk directly in front of the theater. I glanced up, marveling at the triangular marquee lined with tiny blinking light bulbs. Now showing: My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. Grammy purchased our tickets, and we entered the theater where a uniformed man wearing white gloves escorted us to our seats. We spoke not a word, sipped on our soft drinks, and waited for the lush, red waterfall curtain to lift.
Eventually, the lights dimmed, and the curtain rose. We were whisked away to the streets of London where we met Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins. During the course of the movie, we watched Higgins transform Eliza into a refined and sophisticated lady who spoke properly and became comfortable strolling down the streets of London carrying a parasol similar to Grammy’s. As the end-of-the-movie credits appeared on the screen, Grammy stood up and clapped vigorously. “Bravo, Ms. Hepburn!” she exclaimed as if Audrey Hepburn was within earshot. “Bravo!”
The lights slowly brightened and the waterfall curtain slowly descended. We exited the dimly-lit theater onto Elm Street where the late afternoon sun temporarily blinded us. Grammy popped open her parasol shaking out its lace fringe, and we sauntered to our favorite after-movie haunt—the local department store’s bargain basement. While rummaging through the bins, I found a delicate-looking, fringed white parasol. I opened it and sashayed around the basement mimicking Audrey Hepburn strolling along the streets of London.
“Bravo!” Grammy clapped. “Bravo!”
I bowed in recognition. “Grammy,” I asked, “wouldn’t it be loverly having a parasol like Eliza’s?”
“Yes, indeed!” She smiled in agreement, reaching deep inside her coin purse giving me all the loose change she had. “This should cover it.”
Outside, we simultaneously opened our parasols and strutted down Elm Street toward the bus stop twirling our parasols and singing Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.
I still recall that March afternoon and the satisfying feeling of going with Grammy to the picture show. Throughout my childhood and well into my teen years, there was simply nothing more loverly than spending weekends with Grammy.