Gunga Din, The Sailor Dress & The SailorSunday, April 02, 2006
I do believe that all children, be they little boys or little girls, should have and wear a sailor dress or suit at least once in their life. I was delighted when on a trip to Can Cun in 2002, I found a sailor dress at a Sanborns drug store. In May 2003, when Rebecca was 5, she wore it in our garden and posed for me with Rosa 'Mrs. Oakley Fisher'. In 1966 I wore a real sailor uniform and here it was in my winter blues by the sea lion on the rambla at Mar del Plata in Argentina. I originally left Buenos Aires in 1954 when I was 11 and I have fond memories of going to the movies with my father and mother and particularly with my grandmother, Lolita. She had a liking for "peliculas de con-boy" and she would take me to Lavalle Street which had blocks and blocks of movie houses, one after the other. It was not unusual to see three westerns in a row. I specially remember Colt 45 with Randolph Scott in glorious Technicolor. She had good taste for war movies as she took me to see Battleground with John Hodiak. But my mother and father were the ones that took me to the movies that have lingered in my memory. Beau Geste with Gary Cooper, Robin Hood with Errol Flynn, The Corsican Brothers with Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Scaramouche with Stewart Granger, The Man in the Iron Mask with Louis Hayward and The Scarlet Pimpernel with my mother's favourite actor (after Joseph Cotton) Leslie Howard. I saw them again with my daughters, particularly with Rebecca's mother, Hilary. Hilary and I saw Gunga Din when Hilary was 8. Today Rebecca (8) and I saw Gunga Din . I told Rebecca, after the movie ended, that as a boy all I wanted to see were peliculas de guerra (war), de conboys, de piratas and de espadachines (swordfighting movies). I further told her that I could not speak for the tastes of a little girl since I had never been one. Her reply was, "Papi, as a little girl my tastes aren't that different." Imagine that!