Last Saturday evening, June 14, I watched hundreds of people enjoy an old-fashioned drive-in movie.
The Village of Sugarcreek hired a company to construct a temporary drive-in theater in the same area where the Swiss Festival is conducted each year. I didn’t even know there were companies that did such a thing, but it turned out to be a brilliant idea. The screen was large and worked perfectly, the sound was wonderful, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. People spread picnics out on blankets, set up lawn chairs, or simply parked their cars and rolled down their windows.
For two hours before the movie started, I had the privilege of signing books with two of my favorite actresses in the world. Annie Kitral (who played Aunt Lydia) and Marianna Allachi (who played Aunt Anna) gave readers an extra thrill by sitting beside me and also autographing each book.
It was SO funny to see people’s faces when they recognized the two women–but it didn’t happen immediately. I’d sign a book, and then pass it down to Annie/Aunt Lydia. I’d ask the customer “Do you know who this is?” And whoever was standing across the table from me would stare at her and say, “Well, she looks familiar.” And then Annie/Aunt Lydia would say, “I LUFF to cook!” in that accent that she used in the movie, and Marianna/Aunt Anna would bat her eyes and say, “We got cookies!” just like she did in the movie. People would gasp, and throw a hand over their mouths, and then stand and talk until they had to move on to give someone else a chance to get their books signed.
So why am I going on and on about this? Because moments of sheer, pure joy are rare. June 14 was one of those times for me and I wanted to share it with you.