The Front Row Kid
By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey
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Don't sit in the front row, honey. You know it'll ruin your eyes.
I'm sure that bit of gospel was told to all the girls and guys.
But the matinee shows when I grew up was the only place to be
And, "Dibs on the front row seats!" was yelled by all my friends and me.
I guess the technical, logical thinking of a few of us lads and lasses
Was, "I'll just man my favorite chair till I start to needing glasses."
And, yes, I was one of those guilty parties that just knew my way was right,
'Cause I'd be in my cherished up-front throne way into the night.
There was nothing like that twenty-foot screen right there before your nose,
Putting you right in the middle of all the fray -- hair, flesh, and clothes.
From the moment that velvet curtain rippled open, till the very end of the show,
It was a rip-roaring, screaming, jaw-breaker-chomping, fantastic way to go.
Milk Duds in your popcorn, and chewing three gobs of bubble gum,
Sipping your Coke slow to make it last, and laughing till you're numb.
Yelling out, "They're right behind you!," to Pat Buttram and Gene.
Running for the lobby to regroup during all the mushy scenes.
All the spitwad and Cracker Jack fights made Saturday a treasure,
And singing along with that campfire throng is a memory without measure.
Feeling oh, so super-intelligent that you figured out the plot
And letting it be known to everyone there, whether you needed to or not.
It was well worth all those blisters you got raking leaves and mowing lawns,
'Cause for a few hours on the weekend, the world was all your own.
And that long walk home seemed to just zip by, thinking about all that action,
Like when that stagecoach didn't quite go over the cliff . . . missed it by a fraction.
Yes, the Front Row Kid was what they called me, and I sure wore it proud.
I sat up there with bulging eyes, with the speakers blaring loud.
And I still say that was my all-time favorite way to waste some change --
Watching my favorite giant-screen heroes bringing law and order to the range.
By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey - November 29, 1994