Not in that hyperbolic “I see myself in the cinema” way that graduate students talk about. I mean literally. If you were anywhere near Philadelphia in the 1980s, you might remember a chain of mom-and-pop rental shops called E-Z Video. My grandfather, no cinephile by any stretch of the imagination, was a contractor-turned-entrepreneur who just wanted to follow the VHS boom to its logical conclusion. There were five stores at one point, but the only one that matters for this story is the one he turned over to a couple of dingbat kids in need of gainful employment. One of them was my dad. He didn’t care much for movies, either. Still doesn’t. He mostly just managed the inventory and left the staff recommendations to his cousin. Though I never got to see him running the place, I always like to imagine him busy with vinyl records or fantasy baseball (he was playing it long before it was cool, back when you had to mail your lineup to your friends every week). I don’t know what he had planned for his future. Probably music. He liked music. He’ll tell you that he would have grabbed his guitar and headed to California one day, but I know him better than that. Anyway. I’m thankful for whatever force of nature compelled him to stay, because it meant that he was behind the counter when my mom came in looking for a job.
|The former E-Z Video as it exists today.|
|“C/o Google Images. Original lost in time.”|
|He was all about golf and The Godfather.|
|No bullshit: He’s laughing at Fargo. I already broke him.|