Dear Super 8,

12 Jun

One Arm Paparazzi

You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me gasp, stop eating my nachos, point at the screen and whisper to my mom who was sitting next to me in the theater. But it wasn’t all just due to the writing, performing and action. It was because of the city you named Lillian, Ohio. The city where I grew up.

I wrote about my excitement for your creation before but now that I’ve seen it all completed on the big screen – you made me remember and appreciate so many parts of my history – places I don’t get to see anymore. Where I used to play softball, where I used to take walks, where I used to sit and wait for friends, where I would drive by on any given day, where family is laid to rest, and where I lived and still call “home.”

Our house gets a few minutes of your time. It doesn’t do much – just exists in the background – but it’s there. Holding its own in your summer blockbuster. My second story bedroom window hovers above the scene. A window I would’ve been peeking out to watch it all happen. I used to sit and look out over Weirton Heights, watching the cars drive by on Pennsylvania Avenue while the smell from the metal screen filled my senses. Now, that window is a super star.

Hearing the stories from my mom/neighbors/friends, it was quite a spectacle to see your production in our town. (Pictures that my mom took are in the slideshow below.) It was a town that used to thrive around the steel mill and have an energy about it that I’m sure I romanticize now but you made me feel it again. You ignited a renewed spirit around the city – with your movie magic and interest in a place that so many don’t even know about. (Although we were a Jeopardy question once.)

Thank you for your attention and for thinking that Weirton, West Virginia had something special to offer in your Hollywood cinematic masterpiece. Also, thank you for allowing me to leave the theater and excitedly (and obnoxiously) tell a stranger, “That was my hometown! Our house was in the movie!” I think you would agree, it’s a worthy brag.

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