Oh, I'm not talking about big screen TVs my friends. I am talking about the BIG silver screen of the Paramount Theater in my hometown. Throughout the month of December the restored and beautiful Paramount Theater in downtown Kankakee is showing the holiday movies we love.
Last night my son and I joined my sister, her family and her friend's family to a viewing of one of the greatest movies ever made: It's a Wonderful Life. It was truly a fantastic and remarkable sight to behold. Seeing Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed on that huge screen as my parents viewed it just captivated me. The humor and nuances seemed renewed. The scene where George Bailey feels he's hit rock bottom and he's drinking in Martini's Bar left me with such a sense of profound empathy. As George's tears streamed down his face, I felt my own eyes sting with tears.
Having an audience to share my laughter really brought an additional spark to this old movie. I cried for the first time ever while watching it. At the end when the entire town comes to the aid of their beloved George simply caused a surge of emotion. I knew my sister (sitting in front of me) was losing it as well. Her friend sitting next to her was likely unable to hold back the tears, too. My son turned to me and asked, "Mom, are you crying?" Not a word. I couldn't speak.
The pile of money the town brought to the Bailey home sat on the table. In the middle of the pile was the book Tom Sawyer. Clarence was real. Inside was an inscription in his angelic handwriting: "Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence."