Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trip To Bountiful

This afternoon, I watched "Trip To Bountiful", a 1985 movie starring Geraldine Page as an elderly woman named Carrie Watts stuck in a 2-room apartment in Houston who wants nothing more than to go "home" to the small town she grew up in before she dies. This wasn't the first time I've watched this movie. I saw it a couple of times after it first came out on t.v. and I must admit I mainly watched it because some of it was filmed in this area. For instance, the scene in the clip below where the car pulls into a town and stops was shot in Venus, TX where son, Tony, went to school for 12 years. This afternoon's viewing was far different than any of the others, tho. I'm 20 years older than I was when I first watched it and the full meaning of the movie never registered until today. Funny how age affects your view of just about everything. I've written about my "hometown" in Kansas on this blog and I feel the same about it as Carrie Watts did about Bountiful. It's always going to be home.
A year before my Mom passed away, she decided she would like to go back home and just drive around to all the places she lived and went to school, etc. She actually wanted as many of her 10 children as possibly could to go, too. Her idea was to show us her roots and tell us what it was like while she was growing up. So, on Memorial Day weekend that year, 4 of us kids took her "home". We started out in the first area she lived in and, of course, since the old house was no longer there we didn't get to see that. We visited the cemetery where some of our relatives were buried and she gave us some history on some of them.
We then drove through town to about a mile or two east of town near the river where she lived through her school years. They really lived near the river; probably the equivalent of 2 blocks or maybe less. We turned into a lane that took us to an old ramshackle house that she said was their old house. However, the more she thought about it later, she wasn't exactly sure that was the exact house, but the windmill was still standing and she recognized that. They had an awesome view of the Kansas countryside looking out towards that windmill. I wonder if they appreciated it back then. I hope they did. She told us some of her memories of growing up there, playing on the sandbars and in the river.
The town is not the busy little town it once was. Only one or two businesses remain; the rest are all torn down or boarded up. They do, however, have a restaurant that had opened up just a few months before that and it was open that day so we stopped and had lunch. She got to see so many people that she knew and it couldn't have worked out any better. A lot of people come home over Memorial Day weekend because the annual Alumni Banquet is held the Saturday evening before Memorial Day and most of them stay over and go to the cemetery for memorial services on Monday. She had attended the banquet just a couple of years before that for her 60th Class Reunion.
She enjoyed the day so much and I am so glad I was there to experience it with her. She passed away on Memorial Day of the next year. Like Carrie Watts, she took her trip to her "Bountiful".

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