Sunday, March 18, 2007

dun dun...dun dun, don't go in the water!

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?


Rick said...

I can not believe it has been 30 years. I saw that movie 10 times when it first came out!

Elizabeth Prata said...

Hi Rick,

I know! So much time has passed. Did you see the Mythbusters' do the show on Jaws? They wanted to prove or disprove if a shark could submerge three barrels, drag a boat backwards, if an onxygen cannister could be penetrated by a bullet, and if it was, if it would explode.

They found that a large shark could submerge three barrels, but not deeply or for long. It could drag a boat backwards, and a cannister could be penetrated by a bulet. But if it was, it would not explode like in the movie.

I don't care, it was a great ending. I even cheered again in 2007!

Jeanne said...

I was a mother's helper on Cape Cod that summer. My job was to walk the kids the 1/2 mile to the ocean and keep them occupied there for the afternoon. One extremely hot afternoon, someone started yelling, "get out of the water, shark!" and you never saw so many people run so fast in your life. It was scary for a 16 year old girl from Maine. I hadn't seen the movie and I had never worried about shark attack in Maine. It turned out to be a pilot whale, I think, and we were allowed back in the water, but I didn't let the girls go back in the water that day- the fear in faces as they ran from the water made a lasting impression.

Elizabeth Prata said...

that must've been scary to the max! The whole Cape was jittery then. Those poor girls. Wonder if they swim in the ocean now.