Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bill Cosgriff and the adult movie house

The Globe Theater used to be on Grand River near Trumbull in Detroit. In it's heyday in the 1940s and 50s it was a typical, general audience, neighborhood movie house. By the 1970s however it had devolved into an adult theater. And now you have the necessary background information to understand today's story.

Back when he was still in high school, Pops and his friend Ben decided to go see a movie at the Globe. For whatever reason, when Dad got to where he had decided to sit, his Catholic training inexplicably kicked in and he genuflected before entering the row of seats. Ben, walking behind him, didn't see what he was doing and plowed straight into Dad. They both fell over, and the two of them then rolled down the length of the aisle, all arms and legs and trying desperately stop their free fall. It only ended when they hit against the wall at the bottom of the movie screen. Pops always told the story with a great laugh.

Fast forward to about 1974. Dad was very active in the Church and at that time was President of the parish council. He had become close friends with then Pastor Thomas Smith. One evening after a council meeting he and Fr. Smith were talking over a coffee and Dad decided to tell him the tale. He ended it with the usual hearty laugh, but then saw that Father was sitting quietly, staring daggers at him. Come on, Padre, Pops thought, that's a pretty good story that deserves a laugh.

But after a minute or so of awkward silence Father Smith finally asked, "Bill, what in God's name were you doing in that place anyway?" He only knew it as the X-rated movie house and was, properly so far as he misunderstood the circumstances, appalled that Dad had went there.

But once Pops explained that this had happened twenty years earlier, Father did agree that it was a funny story. And at that point it gave Dad's tale a whole new, and also funny in its own way, dimension.

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