Only In the Movies

By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey


Town shooting

When I first started venturing into the world via the matinee silver screen,
Back when my ABC's were on my front burner, along with Dick and Jane,
There were many questions about life in general that stocked my growing mind.
Basics, like why were girls different than boys?, and why did the sun and the moon shine?

It was just the natural evolving of my young inquiring brain,
Every learned lesson being an experience and another challenge gained.
But it was a different story, the first few Saturdays sitting in those movie pews.
I was about as mixed up as my mama's cookie batter. Boy, was I confused!

Nothing jived like in my real world. It was totally turned around.
Everything was shades of black and white; not a sign of red, blue, or brown.
And, Boy! It really got me, how that MGM lion could growl the same way every time,
And how the three stooges could just be dirty, after blowing up in a mine.

I never saw a sign of an orchestra, though they blared through almost every scene.
And how did sixguns carry fifty slugs, and what did "selected short subjects" mean?
I liked to never figured out how a wagon wheel could suddenly reverse directions,
And how did planes and cars get into the Old West? I still ask that question.

Oh, yeah. And why was I the only one singing along with the bouncing ball?
Or how did cowboys come out dry soon after a water trough fall?
And a big, huge stumper I wondered about was in those serial acts:
Did the hero have to hang there for a solid week till I came back?

And the cartoon characters would blow my beanie, with four fingers to a hand.
They could walk through pictures and breathe under water, and tunnel through a mountain of sand.
Not to mention the Little Rascals making all those home-made machines,
And that natural ring around Petey's eye. Darndest thing I ever seen.

And the news reels were study-hall boring. Who cared if someone went over Niagara's edge?
Or if somebody lived on top of a flagpole?, or was strong enough to carry a fridge?
All I was really interested in was chase, sling lead, and ride.
Save that newsy stuff for the grown-up world. Give me Hoppy and Bonny and Clyde.

Well, as I grew I understood they were just entertainment tools.
It was definitely planned to see you smile, not to make you into a fool.
And after I got the message, it was all just fun after that.
So for the following half century, the movies have been where it's at.

By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey - November 29, 1994

Will Cherokee Slim Lacey