Book Trailer For Madam President

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Story

"There is a scene at the end of the movie A Christmas Story that has always stayed with me. It is after Ralph finally gets his BB gun and goes to bed. The camera then breaks for his father and mother by the Christmas tree watching the snow fall. The camera pulls back even farther, back outside onto the street, and now we see a small bungalow with an old Hudson parked next to it. The street is quiet and snow covered. That is what I always imagined my childhood should have been: a Hudson parked outside a modest home on a city street with everyone safe and warm, asleep in middle-class slumber. So it does not surprise me that we ended up in the small town of Riverside. "
Rocket Man

This final scene of Christmas Story I used at the end of my novel resonates more than ever today. In my book, Rocket Man, the main character realizes that what really made him happy was behind him in his own childhood. Rosebud for the Orson Wells fans. It is the same theme, our avarice appetite has done us in and we look back to a simpler time. Now we as a nation are looking back to simpler time and wondering how everything got so mixed up. Dale Hammer, my character, decides that going to the smaller, simpler, life is the answer. When we watch A Christmas Story, it is essentially the story of a working middle class family in 1940's America. The father is a salesman and the mother is at home and the children are left to wander in the land before computers, internet, Ipods, Gameboys. So were we. The father and mother, while harried, are living their life and seeming to have an ok time of it. They have their moments of distress as do the kids. But is in the final scene that the true poignancy of the movie rings home. They become one and take in a simple moment in the middle of the night as we see the house from the outside with the Christmas tree in the window and the Hudson in the side drive. Maybe what we see is a life in balance with no claim to something greater, but something in hand. Maybe contentment. Who knows, maybe this Christmas, when money is tight and we can no longer reward ourselves like children gorging on too much sugar, we can find that contentment again. Merry Christmas.

Books by William Hazelgrove