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Peggy and Polly and Old Aunt Mary go to the movies

March 5, 2011

In this little story, published in the Herald’s “Young Folks Page” Aunt Mary’s family devises a plan to get her to become more active by asking her to come look after her city-dwelling brother’s two girls while their mother goes on a trip. The moving pictures are just one of various experiences that the Polly and Peggy devise to “citify” their spinster aunt. I’ve excerpted the description of the lecture/ moving image display that they go to. From the description, the film they saw would have been generically similar to  Lassoing Wild Animals in Africa by the Famous Buffalo Jones, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. It was quite common for films like this to be screened as an accompaniment to a special lecture event.

On the first evening, which was Friday, they had a lecture to attend, one on Northern Africa, with moving pictures. Of course, Aunt Mary had to chaperon them. And she found herself so deeply interested in the lecture that she forgot that it was Duty that had led her there ‘And these things are moving pictures!’ she whispered to Peggy. “Ain’t they just too fine for words? Wish Hettie Jackson (their nearest neighbor) could see ’em. She and I never went over to Forest City to see the moving pictures. We s’posed they were just for young folks.”

“Oh, they are educational,” whispered Polly. “You are now looking at Northern Africa–the places and people just as they exist.”

“Indeed I am,” smiled Miss Mary Holcomb. And the smile stayed there during the entire lecture. As they went home, Peggy suddenly asked: “Oh how is your rheumatism, Aunt Mary?”

Aunt Mary stopped and looked at her nieces “Say girls, I’d forgot I ever had the rheumatiz. I’ve got my head so full of that lecture and them pictures. I’m going to write to Hettie Jackson tomorrow and tell her all about ’em. My! I wish somebody would start them moving pictures in Sylvan Dale.”

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