Monday, August 30, 2010


There was a great turnout at the Pickens on Friday night for a special showing of Jaws, this year marking the 35th anniversary of the movie that no doubt changed the way America (and the world??) swims. Or at least what we think about when we swim. Although I think the fact that thirty-five years have passed since Jaws' opening was the most alarming aspect of the evening for me and Mr. Betty, who were sitting in the audience.

Was 1975 really thirty-five years ago??

The cool thing — one of them, anyway — about Friday night's showing was its local sponsorship by the Newport Mercury and the resurgent brand of beer (Narragansett) famously gulped by Quint mid-movie who then crunches the can in his hand, whereupon Hooper promptly crunches his paper cup in his hand. Classic. Unforgettable. That and the duh-duh-duh-duh music and a few lines such as when Cap'n Brody, allegedly afraid of the water, first sees those wide-open jaws off the stern and says calmly to Quint, "You're going to need a bigger boat ..."

The guy behind us in the theater — who had brought his young son along (I wonder if the boy did any swimming later in the weekend and, if so, what he was thinking about) — had a habit of anticipating/reciting the lines before they happened, which made the whole Jaws experience a little less scary. Truly, I appreciated it. That, and the fact that we got to imbibe a couple of Narragansetts while munching our popcorn having successfully resisted all the candy we might have purchased (and subsequently sunk our jaws into) when we were buying our tickets. That took the edge off.

The line about the bigger boat actually reminded me of a boat I'd seen off the rocks near Castle Hill not long ago. And then yesterday, Sunday (what a beauty), I saw a fin. A fin!! In the harbor. Which stopped my heart, if only for a second, as it was a false alarm: two little girls were swimming with a killer whale off the stern of a boat. No biggie, but still ...

Speaking of classics, Jaws may be over (thank goodness), but the Pickens has showings of The Great Gatsby on Sunday mornings (in season) packaged with a tickets to Rosecliff, the "mansion" where the 1974 version of the movie was filmed. Continental breakfast is served ...