“Don’t you realize? The next time you see sky, it’ll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it’ll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what’s right for them. Because it’s their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here.”
This week’s Throwback Thursday film had a major impact not only on my childhood, but my entire life. This is the film that encompassed it all: Good things happen when you take a chance and band together, friends come in all shapes and sizes, the guy could get the girl, nerdy girls could be badass, you could invent life-saving contraptions, fantasy adventures can exist in real life, good will always conquer evil, a candy bar can save your life…..And, kids can be the heroes!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…. The Goonies.
It’s hard to believe that it has been 30 years since The Goonies came into my life. Up until that point, the movie most re-enacted by my friends and I on the playground was Return of the Jedi (you know you used the sand/gravel under the playset as the Sarlacc Pit). But, once we discovered The Goonies, every adventure became a free-for-all. Every bike ride across Levittown may as well have been a bike ride through the woods of Astoria, Oregon. My imagination ran wild. I wanted to be a kid forever. Who wouldn’t want to be a Goonie?
Click Here to watch the original trailer.
The movie tells the story of a bunch of misfit kids whose homes are about to be foreclosed so that a country club can expand onto their land. As fate would have it, the kids stumble upon a treasure map hidden in the attic. Knowing it is their last weekend together, the kids take a chance and decide to follow the map in the hopes of discovering the long, lost treasure of local, legendary pirate One-Eyed Willie. Along the way, they encounter a family of wanted criminals who, upon realizing the kids may actually be onto something, make it their personal mission to kill the kids and steal their map. The chase is on! Can a bunch of kids outsmart the adults? Can they survive an underground trail laden with boody traps (booby traps! “That’s what I said!”)? Can the Goon Docks be saved before the bulldozers take their homes? Can you ever get that Cyndi Lauper song out of your head once you start singing it?
By far, my greatest memory of The Goonies came later that year. In December of 1985, I traveled with my parents to Dublin, Ireland to visit my grandmother. Many a night was spent either with my mom or alone in random hotel rooms, as my father had to make the rounds. He was a pirate of a different sort, a legend in his own time on two continents. The sun would go down, and the guitars would come out. My Da could be found singing in the pubs or hotel bars until the wee hours. One night, in particular, my parents handed me a few ‘pounds’. There was a small cinema, not far from the hotel (I don’t even know what town we were in at that point in our travels). There I was, a newly minted 12 year old holding foreign currency, wandering cobblestone streets in search of age-appropriate entertainment while they enjoyed a few pints. I remember being impressed that I spent the equivalent of two American dollars and that got me a Kit Kat, a small glass bottle of Coke and a movie ticket to see The Goonies. I had seen the movie already, back home in the states. But there was something about seeing it alone, a stranger in a strange land, that finally made me feel like a true Goonie. I felt like such a grownup, buying my own ticket, sitting by myself, walking back to the hotel alone. By today’s standards, these are all things that would have had my parents arrested for “Free-Range Parenting” and neglect. But, back in 1985….it was awesome. Much like the crazy Irishman in Braveheart, Ireland was my Da’s; but for one brief night, it was my island.
I was a Goonie. I am still a Goonie. And, Goonies never say ‘die’.
And so, on this rainy Thursday, I shall curl up with a blanket and probably a Kit Kat, throw on The Goonies DVD, and warm my heart with memories of my father and the time he turned me into a true adventurer.
Stay tuned next week when we explore the romantic cheese-fest that was Secret Admirer.