Follow-Up Notes: “Using The Whole Fist”

Fletch on VHS
Remember VHS?


So, “Fletch”, huh? Great movie. I saw the trailer for the movie in a multiplex in Lebanon, Tennessee. It might’ve been either “Ghostbusters” or “Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend”, I’m not sure, but we used to see a lot of movies back in those days. Tickets were two bucks a pop. We never did get around to seeing “Fletch”, though. Had to rent it the next year, after we had moved back to Philadelphia.

We got our first VCR and rented “Fletch” from … I think it was a discount stereo and appliance store in the Oregon Mall. No video stores back then. The selection was so sparse, it was only new releases and then a couple of out-of-nowhere titles like “Shock Treatment” (the 1981 version), or “Helter Skelter”. It seemed they had more titles to buy than rent, and that’s when I started my Warner clamshell collection.

After shopping, I remember we would go to Giuseppe’s, which was a very nice Italian restaurant, dark with little cup candles on the tables and decorated booths with big picture windows. They had great pizza, and you would actually sit down in this lovely restaurant and eat pizza. They had real cherry and vanilla Cokes, and they served non-alcoholic piña coladas, which was probably one of the greatest things in the world. Because of those non-alcoholic piña coladas, I could never get into the real alcoholic drinks – didn’t taste as good to me. I never finished what I ordered, always had leftovers. It’s funny – you’re not as hungry when you’re a kid. You get full really fast.

So “Fletch” connects with me on many levels, mostly attachments to memory. If I go even deeper, I would be able to recover moments in my childhood. People tell me bad memories, unhappy memories are the most potent, but I would disagree. It’s true we’re able to recall unpleasant experiences with (possibly) greater frequency, but happy memories feel stronger when the correct associations are made. If I think of the movie “Fletch”, or any number of movies around that time period, I’ll suddenly taste that Giuseppe’s pizza again, somewhere in the back of my head.

This is the last episode of BlissVille for the season (basically winter). I’ll return in March with new episodes, but for now I just want to say this has been an incredible experience. I’ll continue to post fiction, non-fiction, various ramblings, and photographs (I’ve amassed quite a collection in real photo albums over the years). I’m also working on getting a proper release for a couple of movies I made back at the turn-of-the-century, American Punk and Vortex.

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