Speaking of tornadoes has reminded me of the sad news that Bill Paxton died. He seemed like a genuine and fun guy. I can’t believe he is gone. I also can’t believe he was already 61. That means he way 58 during his action-packed stint on Agents of Shield. He did not look it. How could he be felled by his heart?
But yes, I am a nerd for disaster movies and Twister was one of my first and favorites. Here’s what I remember about going to see it:
It was the summer I had turned 18, my little brother was 13 and Dad took us on the only family vacation we had every been on without Mom - (it was a year or so after the divorce and Dad was on new meds and doing really well.) To this day, I declare it as the best family vacation we ever took. (Don’t tell Mom, she tried to compete a few months later with a trip to New York). We were going to the Tennessee state line to Cumberland Lake to spend a week on a houseboat. (Also, to this day, I want to live on a house-boat). Dad figured we’d stop early and drive the rest in the morning. We wanted to stretch our legs, but there was no pool at the hotel, nothing fun nearby. So we ended up at the movies. To see Twister. My brother and I had been wanting to see this movie, but Dad knew nothing except it’s title.
We all end up loving it! Dad and myself claimed Dutsy as our favorite character (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). If you know the character, you aren’t surprised he was my favorite, but it may tell you a bit about my dad. He also laughed so hard during the bit where the cows fly across the road. “I’ve got to go, we got cows,” was quoted by my dad for years and years, anytime he’d drive pass a field of cows. He told us ahead of time that he had heard a ‘true story’ - (of course the urban legend already forming around the movie) - about how some people were at the theater watching the movie and right when a tornado was onscreen, an actual tornado came ripping through their movie theater and right through the tornado onscreen. We believed it at the time and then during the scene in the movie where they are at the drive-in theater and suddenly the tornado rips through the movie screen, Dad leaned over and said, “This is where the real tornado destroyed that theater.” That asshole, lol. My brother and I are were griping the arms of our chairs!
Later, on the houseboat, there was a nasty storm - I’ll tell you about it someday - but I remember thinking, “We are in Tornado Alley. We just saw Twister. This is clearly the part where the tornado rips through our movie screen.”
Twister gave us a great bonding moment with our father. And Bill Paxton gave us so many other great roles and I am sorry we lost him. RIP, Bill.