What did you do in the 5th grade?  I used to draw cartoon characters and sell them to students for a dime.  I loved to draw and just like the kids now a days I was fascinated by dinosaurs.  I also liked science fiction movies and Dracula , and Frankenstein, etc. Check out the pencil sketches below done in my grade school years. The cartoons drawings  lead to dinosaur drawings  which lead to sci-fi comics,  which lead to going the the movies every chance I got.  My still all time favorite B&W movie is King Kong.

( pencil sketches done in grade school by me )

I saved up my paper route money and a year later was the proud owner a a regular 8mm movie camera. It was a Bell & Howell with a tri-lens.  There was no parallax correction and persons head would get chopped off if the camera wasn’t aimed above their heads in close ups.

I used to sneak the camera under my shirt and under my armpit when I went to the movies, and  film a few minutes of the movie that was currently playing. King Kong was my first sneak and film adventure. I thought that they would lock me up in jail if they caught me and the topper would be that I’d miss the movie. My friends thought I was nuts to do it.  King Kong was also filmed by me off the television.  I could only afford to shoot about 20 minutes of it, but it was precious to me since I could study it over and over.  It was “fascinating”  as Spock might say.  What else could I do but try it out on my own with my new camera.

During summer vacation almost every Saturday was a chance to go to the movies, except when my dad asked me to go to work with him. I couldn’t do much except throw out the scrap carpet pieces and help with light furniture. I hated to miss out on a movie, but I did get a great lunch or ice cream treat after work. Sometimes I would order two waffles for myself at lunch time. Dad knew all the good places to eat. The carpet repair company live on through me now. Browse if you like.

I think this was around the 7th or eighth grade time period when I got really active with the camera. Typical home movies were a part of learning skills in movie making. However we were kids and kids find ways to have “fun”. Famous Monsters magazine became my doorway to all kinds of movies and monsters. Make-up effects started to outweigh buying toy army tanks, putting a ladyfinger firecracker in its barrel, and filming it as it shot at a toy spaceship. Trouble was the whole toy tank blew up!

( below is a piece of art done for a college project (photo of photo))