Saturday, December 18, 2010
Amusements: This is another chapter from my book Afterschool Special.
I used to live near an amusement park called Adventureland on Long Island. This was the place that inspired the writer and director of the recent film of the same tile. Like the characters in that movie, I was still frequenting Adventureland when I was way too old to be there. I also once snuck into The Westbury Drive-In theater, the last one of its kind on Long Island which has long since closed. I believe the last movie I saw there was Bride of Chucky back in 1998.
My character Jed performing here was inspired by an act I saw in Canobie Lake Amusement Park a couple of years back. There was a kid doing some really entertaining Elvis impersonations and no one seemed to be watching or caring at all except for a couple of old ladies (and me!).
SE Hinton's The Outsiders is of course probably the greatest book about teenagers that was actually written by a teenager. I used it in my first job as a literacy teacher when I was 21 and working with 8th grade students and it was the only way I was able to connect with them.
Last, but not least, I was very sad to learn about the death of Corey Haim in 2010. I am being sincere when I say that he was an actor I always related to. It was unfortunate that he seemed stuck in the past and could never outgrow his childstar persona. He leaves behind an amazing legacy though with films such as Lucas and Dream a Little Dream and License To Drive. I consider these amongst the most essential classic teen flicks from the 80's.