Whenever someone asks me where I go to church, I tell them, “Occasionally I attend services at the Weinberg Center.”
That’s a lie. No one ever asks me where I go to church. If they did, though, that’s what I’d tell them. The Weinberg Center is such a beautiful old movie house, and the massive Wurlitzer pipe organ that accompanies the silent films shown there is so pitch-perfect and warmly inviting, that I’d take a Friday evening there over a Sunday morning in any church on the planet.
Last night we saw The Phantom of the Opera — the 1925 Universal classic starring Lon Chaney, not the atrocious Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. It’s amazing how much of its impact the film retains after all these years. With all the advances in make-up and special effects in the intervening eight decades, Chaney’s skull-like appearance as the Phantom has never been improved upon. When his face was finally revealed on the big screen last night, the woman sitting behind and to the right of Ashley and I audibly gasped.
After the movie, we stopped for a late dinner at the Waffle House on Sharpsburg Pike. As the loyal reader (or the reader who clicks on this link
) will recall, Ashley and I also visited the Waffle House after a Weinberg outing this past April, and were surrounded by an inconsiderate mob of students from the contemptible St. James School. Last night, a few minutes after getting our food, another, smaller mob of people arrived. These guys and gals were from the Superior Pro Wrestling Training Center, A.K.A. the House of Pain — Hagerstown’s very own pro wrestling school. Head trainer/booker/NWL Champion John Rambo was with them, and sat quietly at the end of the counter the entire time we were there.
In fact, everyone in the group conducted themselves as polite, considerate, civilized people. As someone who used to attend House of Pain/NWL shows in Hagerstown regularly, this made me feel pretty good. The throng of aspiring pro wrestlers were infinitely better behaved than the herd of little motherfuckers from St. James. I would have expected as much before last night; it was just nice to gain confirmation from personal experience.