Can we agree on something? Some things are just plain ugly. It has been said that the warthog is perhaps the ugliest animal on earth. I somehow doubt that a mother warthog would feel that way, but the rest of us might.
There is a saying that goes like this: “That’s a face that only a mother could love.” It’s meant to be derogatory…and sometimes it is spoken to elicit a laugh. But being ugly is no laughing matter.
What is ugly after all? If “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, why don’t we feel the same way about ugliness? Isn’t what is ugly to one person likely to be beautiful to another?
I took the picture of a flamingo that is featured today last Saturday at the Atlanta zoo. I’d not realized what hooked beaks they have, nor how tiny the pupils of their eyes are. Many would look at this creature and say it’s ugly. Others would look at it and think it is beautiful in its own peculiar way. Certainly, if one were to look at the rest of its beautifully colored plumage, very few would say it is ugly. Ugliness may also be simply a matter of what we choose to focus on. We all have ugly parts to us physically and in every other way, too. And we all have beauty as well.
A face only a mother could love? Well, isn’t that part of what being a mother is…loving her offspring unconditionally? We would all do well to learn to love like that….
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Though American drive-in movie theaters had their golden era in the ’50’s, some Floridians watched movies under the stars in their cars before then: Miami got its first drive-in on this day in 1938. The drive-in charged 35 cents per person, more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person.
America’s first-ever drive-in opened near Camden, NJ, on June 6, 1933, the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, whose family owned an auto parts company. The inaugural feature was a 1932 film called “Wives Beware,” and admission was 25 cents per car and an additional 25 cents per person. The sound for the movies was provided by three large RCA speakers next to the main screen.
Following WW2, the popularity of drive-in theaters increased. By the early 1950s, there were more than 800 drive-ins across the US. Though they had a reputation as “passion pits” for young couples seeking privacy, most drive-in customers were families (parents didn’t have to hire babysitters or get dressed up and their children could wear pajamas and sleep in the car) and often featured playgrounds, concession stands and other attractions. Some drive-ins were super-sized, including Detroit’s Bel Air Drive-In, built in 1950, which had room for more than 2,000 cars, and Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In, which opened in 1956, and claimed the biggest movie screen in the U.S.: 52 feet high by 100 feet wide. Over the years, attempts were made to develop a daytime screen that would enable drive-ins to show movies before it got dark, but nothing proved successful.
At their peak in the late ’50s and early ’60s, there were some 4,000 drive-ins across America. However, during the next two decades the drive-in industry declined and theaters shut down, due to such factors as rising real-estate values (which made selling the land for redevelopment more profitable than continuing to operate it as a drive-in) and the rise of other entertainment options, including video recorders, multiplex theaters and cable television. By 1990, there were around 1,000 U.S. drive-ins. Today, they number less than 400 (states with the most remaining drive-ins include Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York.
New Jersey has the distinction of being the home of not just the first drive-in but also the first fly-in theater. In June 1948, Ed Brown’s Drive-In and Fly-In opened in Wall Township and had space for 500 cars and 25 planes.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Falling dreams typically occur at the beginning of the night, in Stage I sleep. These dreams are often accompanied by muscle spasms, called myoclonic jerks, and are common in many mammals.