Sunday, March 6, 2016

1941 Marches On - in College Point, NY

Queens, New York City, was my point of origin, and College Point was the place of my boyhood. I lived there until 1972. This parade was filmed a mere seven years before I was born.

College Point is a small, working class community on the north shore of Queens, standing between La Guardia Airport and the Whitestone Bridge. It is surrounded on two sides by water and two sides by swamp. (At least it was until recently. They've filled in most of the swamp.) It was like an island, and that gave residents a distinct personality. Boys from neighboring communities gave us a wide berth, because we had a reputation for being clannish, serious and tough. (Not myself necessarily, but a well earned reputation in general.)

Even so, I watch this with a strange kind of Star Trek alternative universe feeling. Your reporter was becoming aware only ten years after this film was made, but I can tell you that nothing looked like this anymore. This is a much more organized College Point; it looks like more of a community. It looks a lot cleaner, too. What happened, I wonder?

Could it have been World War II and Korea? Fears of communism and the Soviets? The New Deal? The atomic bomb? Do you think that it was TV that tore up the old social contract? Comic books? Black baseball players? Something happened, that's for sure.

Nice of someone's grandfather to make this movie that then see that it was preserved all of this time. These old films are fragile, and this one looks great.

No comments: