I watched the 30-year anniversary edition of Jaws tonight. Can you believe it‘s been thirty years?! I can’t.
I remember it was like yesterday. 1976. My friend Peggy’s dad owned a 44 foot trawler. Every summer he took a trip from Narragansett Bay in RI, where I grew up, to Nantucket. His kids each got to take along a friend or two for the weekend jaunt. Peggy asked me and it was OK with my parents, and off we went.
We had a blast going from the well-known (to me) waters of the Bay ‘across the ocean’ to Nantucket. We’d heard buzz about this shark movie they were filming in the harbor. People said it was real scary. Were looking forward to seeing the action and activity. When we arrived, we found out that the film crew had just wrapped, but the floating platforms in the harbor were all still assembled. And the rubber shark, named “Bruce” was still hanging around.
One of the more daring things Peggy’s brothers liked to do was jump from the top of the cabin house into the water. It looked like fun, so I gave it a try too. And it was fun, but I kept thinking about that durn shark. Every time I jumped from the platform, which was 20 feet above the water, and ended up in the deep, our legs thrashing, I was convinced a shark was about to tear off my legs. It was definitely creepy.
Watching the movie 30 years later, I realize again that it’s a great film. Riveting, suspenseful, entertaining. I’d forgotten a lot of it. And for thirty years, I have not been in ocean water over my head. So even though Bruce the shark was blown up at the end, who has the last laugh?