L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Granny Griffin At The Movie House

I never knew this lady in the picture. The lady in this story is my wife's Grandmother on her fathers side. Her name was Della O'Connell her 3/17/1885 to 1/8/1973. Everyone called her {Zillie} She was born and raised some where in the Starks, Vinton area. Her father was T.D. O'Connell Born abt 1867. Her mother is still unknown at this time. Family history is that her father came to the Starks area working or looking for work and he was said to be from Michigan.
Della married Charles W. Griffin, 8/16/1882 to 6/5/1950. His death certificate states he was born in New Iberia, La. Charles and Della lived in Merryville, La. Along with 10 kids
Their first child was a son named George W., 11/20/1908 to 12/18/1989. This was my wife's father. Her Grandmother Della was a very down to earth type of lady. Had lots of kids and even more grand kids. She never was much into the newer things in life at that time. She was from the old school as the saying goes, that's the way she kept it.
That was until Merryville finally took a big step up in the world with a new picture house {Movie Theater}. It was a very thriving town in the 1930's and 1940's. With A barber shop, drug story, three or four sawmills, printing shop and to top this off a train depot with passenger train service. They had most comforts of life at that time.
When the Movie picture house made it's grand opening. Business was fine as they say. If you wanted to see a movie you had to get there early. No matter what day of the week it was. There was always plenty of folks in line to see the movies.
Most of the folks loved the Westerns. These movies got top billings and was in high demand.
Seems everyone in my wife's family had made a trip or two to the movies. One task that ever one attempted, was to get Granny Griffin to go and see a movie. She wanted no part of it. Didn't need it and could never see any sense in just why anyone would waste their time going there.
Some way or another, someone convinced Granny Griffin to go and see this western that was playing at the movie house. When she decided to go, she took my wife along who was at that time only about four or five years old and her brother Willard who was just a year younger. Add along to that about two or three more family members.
As luck would have it, they arrived there late and every seat was taken except for the very first row. That is where they settled in at to watch the show. Granny Griffin had never seen such a thing. about half way through the movie someone asked Granny Griffin what she thought of the movie. She made the comment that it so amazing, so "Real".
At that point in the movie, way in the back ground. There was a bunch of Train Robbers chasing the train on horse back, trying to stop it and rob it. As the movie went on, the train kept picking up speed, getting faster and faster and started running off and leaving the robbers. The nest thing Granny Griffin knew the train was right at the very front of the screen.
This is where the fun started, Erlene said Granny Griffin sprung up out of her seat, threw her hands in the air above her head and screamed at the top of her voice, then yelled, RRRUUUNNN, RRRUUUNNN, it's a train and it's going to run over us. Erlene said the only thing she remembered next was ever single person in that movie house was standing outside and was in a panic mode. HHHAAA
After every thing settled down, everyone started talking about what happen. Everyone agreed all they ever heard was a scream and the word RUN. And run they did, everyone of them.
Needless to say, Granny Griffin never stepped one foot into another movie house for the rest of her born days.

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