By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
I love the way something as simple as a song, smell, or photograph can rekindle a memory and make it as unexpectedly fresh as the day it was first formed.
“Brandy,” a song nearly 50-years-old and gaining popularity because of a car commercial and inclusion on a “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack, jettisons me back to 1972 and a summer filled with theme parks, parades and the blushes of a young crush.
The first Lily of the Valley to show its face in the spring has me longing for my grandma and I can’t hold the bait-casting fishing rod that first belonged to my daddy without wishing he was by my side on a summer morning on Brevoort Lake in Michigan.
When Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are” drifts out from my CD player, I cannot help but think about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and Richard Dreyfuss crafting a replica of Devil’s Tower in his living room.
A couple of weeks ago, my mother and I were “culling the herd” so to speak of old photos with blurred faces and long-forgotten names. I came across a photo my daddy took in 1984 when scenes of the movie “Mischief” was filmed at my old high school, Hamilton Township, which was torn down more than 10 years ago.
The picture was taken from his car and was filled with images of movie trucks parked at the side of the 1939 portion of the school. I missed all of the excitement at the time because we were stationed on an air base in Wichita, Kansas.
Years later, while watching a late-night showing of “Mischief,” I was shocked to see students in 1956 attire walking down hallways I trod for six years, sitting in seats that, until 2009, still existed and scenes shot in a classroom where I taught for five years.
When I found that picture, I thought about many things…me as a freshman trying out for the drill team, pizza at Cardo’s before a Friday night football game and stowing away to the lighting booth to eat Twinkies during study hall.
When I got home, I Googled “Mischief” and discovered, in addition to scenes at Hamilton, many exterior shots were filmed just down the road in Canal Winchester. I got on the Canal Winchester Connection page on Facebook and asked if anyone remembered when the movie crews came to town.
More than 100 posts later, I was surprised at all of the responses with people sharing their memories of watching the film crews go through their paces, being contacted as potential locations or actually working as an extra.
Clif Spruill and his beautiful red ’55 Chevy made it past the cutting room floor and onto the big screen, as did Marcella Taylor as a cinematic “mom.” Sandy
Packer recalled her house was considered for a location shot and Mike Ebert, with his family in tow, would spend summer evenings watching the filming downtown.
I checked IMDb, an entertainment data base, for other movies or shows filmed in Canal Winchester and was shocked to find listings for five more films or shorts. Sadly, “Mischief” was the only listing for the area where I spent my childhood, but the memories sparked by that photo will last a lifetime.