An important part of each Christmas season is the opportunity to watch the classic 1946 film; “It’s A Wonderful Life.” It was filmed in 1946 right after the end of World War II.The great actor Jimmy Stewart played George Bailey. He was just back from being a combat pilot in the war. His co-star was Donna Reed, who was all of 24 years old at the time, and not far removed from Dennison, Iowa. She played his wife Mary Bailey.
I’s a great film about love, sharing friendship, and the difference that one person can make in the lives of so many different people. The film always touches my heart.
Last night Elena agreed to watch the film with me. She might have found it corny. But she observed it. I was so happy to be able to see it again.
During my years in South Africa, 1990-1995, the film was always shown on television during the day. I pointed out to my South African employers that the film was an important part of my American culture and heritage. They were always gracious enough to allow me either to go home to watch the film (An excused absence with full pay) or they allowed me to haul one of those heavy old portable televsions to work to watch the film as I worked.
Going further back, I lived in Los Angeles in 1989. My domestic partner at the time, Antonieta Fuentes, and I got an invitation to attend a Christmas Eve service at a Presbyterian church in Beverly Hills. The guest of honor was to be, none other than, Jimmy Stewart. We eagerly accepted the invitation. For some reason now forgotten after 24 years, our attention got side tracked. We did not attend the service. How wonderful it would have been to meet the great man in person. What would I have said to him? Perhaps it would have been a stupid question like: “What was it like to work with Donna Reed?” But at least I would have had a moment or two with George Bailey from “It’ A Wonderful Life.” I regret not attending that church service every day of my life.