The Sandlot

Well, I did my laundry before the rain hit.  At work, I had to pick up a cigarette butt.  Someone asked me about my movie notebook, which I have kept since 1982.  I have never shown this notebook to anybody, not anyone in my family, and not any of my friends over the years.  Now this person wants to see this notebook that documents thirty-five years of my life?  It isn’t likely that I’m going to let it happen.  I stopped to get a hamburger before returning home.  I watched the Blu-ray disc of “The Sandlot.”  It took place in 1962, with a kid named Scotty Smalls as the new kid in town trying to make friends through playing baseball.  He can’t throw a ball, and he doesn’t know who Babe Ruth is.  I can hardly believe that a kid who gets straight A’s doesn’t know who Babe Ruth is.  Denis Leary is the rather cold and distant stepfather who is preoccupied with work.  Karen Allen was the mother.  One of the kids playing in the sandlot is Rodriguez, who seems destined to becoming a major league player someday.  The kids have adventures during this summer that bring back some of the feeling of “Stand By Me.”  The sex symbol of the neighborhood is a girl named Wendy Peffercorn.  One of the scenes that made me laugh was the kids’ experimentation with chewing tobacco.  When they tried different ways of getting the baseball from the dog, I kept thinking about the time and effort that had to go through to construct all that stuff.  This part of the movie wasn’t exactly realistic.  Since James Earl Jones was in “Field of Dreams” and “Fences,” it wasn’t shocking that he appeared in this film, too.  Scotty’s mistake was all the more foolish because the gang collected enough pop bottles to buy a replacement ball, so Scotty didn’t need to take the valuable ball from his stepfather’s room at all.  In Los Angeles, the real magical year would have been 1963 instead of 1962.  It was a good-natured movie, though, and good for the family except for the use of a couple of bad words.  They put together a very good cast of kids for this movie, and that might have been the key to making the whole thing work.  It’s become a classic baseball movie, something you can enjoy in the middle of the summer as baseball season is going on.  Some of the songs on the soundtrack were “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “There Goes My Baby,” “This Magic Moment,” “Green Onions,” “Tequila,” and “Wipe Out.”  The movie that the kids in the auditorium were watching was “The Wolf Man,” with Lon Chaney and Claude Rains.  I wondered what happened to Marley Shelton, the girl who played Wendy Peffercorn.  She went on to appear in “Nixon,” “Pleasantville,” “Sin City,” “Death Proof,” “Planet Terror,” and “W.”  She is 42 years old now.  Some of the people who died on February 10 include Laura Ingalls Wilder (1957), Alex Haley (1992), Jim Varney (2000), Arthur Miller (2005), Roy Scheider (2008), and Shirley Temple (2014).  Today is a birthday for Chloë Grace Moretz (20), Elizabeth Banks (43), Laura Dern (50), Roberta Flack (80), and Robert Wagner (87).  Today is also my birthday.

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