Well, the 86th Academy Awards are over. And for the record, I did a pretty good job in my Daily Star Oscar picks. I got them all right except one. Cate Blanchett was the spoiler in my clean sweep. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
A lot of people say the Oscars have changed a lot “since the old days,” and for the most part that is correct. When I was a kid growing up, the Oscars show was something that my parents watched. The kids certainly did not. Mom and Dad would sit in their respective easy chairs and turn the show on each year promptly at 8. I can see them clearly. Dad in his recliner, and Mom sitting on the edge of her corner chair probably with a baby in her lap. My siblings and I would wander in and out of the living room to the chastising “hush” and “shhh” coming from each corner chair.
I always thought it was curious that my folks enjoyed the Oscars so much. I can honestly say I can never remember my parents ever going to the movies. Not once. But the show was a “glimpse over the fence” into the backyard of the rich and famous and for that, I guess it has never changed.
In 1965, I actually remember watching the telecast with them at home because the big movie of the year, “The Sound of Music,” had just recently played at the Sidney Theater and we all saw it (kids, not parents).
Bob Hope was the host. He was always the host (14 times). He would come out in his tuxedo and make sly, clever comments about the stars in the audience, and my parents would chuckle at every punch line. It all seems so tame now. He would see Charlton Heston in the audience, for example, and say something like, “Uh, oh. The boss is in the house,” referencing Heston’s role as Moses. Chuckle, chuckle.