Saturday, August 05, 2006

Movies, Malathion, And Movie Candy



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We are a Netflix family and I am known for searching the netflix basement for "less than blockbuster movie titles". There is often a collective groan when the red and white Netflix envelope is opened to one of my choices.

Not long ago, I was searching for a Netflix DVD related to anything about the Florida Gators. This was a favor to my wife who is a rabid UF fan.
There wasn't much in the search results to excite a GATOR fan, but there, down at the bottom of the search list was this title, "VERNON, FLORIDA"

A DOCUMENTARY!! WOOHOO! ...AND IT WAS "QUIRKY"! DOUBLE WOOHOO!!
So I put it on our Netflix Que and used my DAD powers to bump it up to #1 on the que.

When it arrived, Jr slipped it open expecting to see the latest almost new blockbuster and out dropped Vernon. Uh oh...
We popped it in the DVD deck and sat down to watch it.

I don't know how to describe it, but I loved it. I think the reviewer in the Vernon link above got it exactly right. I laughed alot at the things these backwoods characters were saying, but almost affectionately, rather than ridiculing. That may be because in our lives, we've known very similar characters and listened to similar rememberances and tales. If you watch it, you will probably think of some older person who shared memories with you.

I highly recommend the Vernon, Florida experience...and not just to Floridaphiles like Laura, Thingfish23, or Hurricane Teen. These characters exist all over the country...you will recognize them.


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(I found this image on Google Images here. Using it sans permission, but trying to give credit...this is actually up north)


The Vernon documentary was made in 1981 when mosquito control trucks still sprayed a mix of diesel fuel and malathion. The opening scene in the movie shows a truck similar to this borrowed picture puffing through town.
That scene brought back memories of the smoky fogger trucks that would drive through our St. Augustine neighborhoods when I was a kid. You could hear the hiss of the truck and see the blinking yellow light as it came down the street. We would all run out and play in the "smoke" as it went by.

That may explain alot of the weirder things you read here at Pure Florida.

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So since we're talking about movies....

...what's your favorite movie candy?

23 comments:

pablo said...

Not too partial to candy (aside from chocolate in all its forms) but I'd say Milk Duds since you can make them last if you try.

Did you ever see Sunshine State?

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Boy, it is hard to beat jujubes, dots and black crows. Of course, that was 65 years ago.

Laura said...

Snowcaps!! I used to love them when I was a kid. Now that I'm an adult and too cheap to pay movie theatre prices for the candy, we stop by the the Dollar Store for M&M's and Nestle's Crunch.

I'll definitely look for Vernon! And I remember those mosquito trucks. I cannot believe we didn't scatter or run out of the way when they drove by.

One memory I have of them, is of lying on the beach at Matheson Hammock in Miami with a few of my friends. We rode our bikes there and found an area near the mangroves, where the skeeters were usually out in full force. (not that day, however).

There was a small auxilary road nearby for the maintenance vehicles only. A mosquito truck drove past us and we could feel that mist hovering near us as we lay in on our beach towels.
I'm amazed i'm not growing tumors out of my head already.
Or maybe it's growing inside my head and that explains a few things, for sure. ;)

And this is for your wife: GO GATORS! ;)

swamp4me said...

I agree with Pablo - Milk Duds. Of course, Sugar Babies run a close second. Uh, do they still sell Sugar Babies? Been so long since I bought candy at the movies I'm not sure.

Deb said...

Like Pablo I'm not much of a candy fan, but give me a bag of peanut M&Ms...I practically lived on those when I was 14.

We do Netflix here too. Sure beats driving 18 miles to the musty video store in town, then paying late fees when you can't get back there in time.

Hurricane Teen said...

I'm gonna have to rent that movie. I'm always looking for good movies and books about Florida and its people. And I also remember those fogger trucks coming through here. I used to run AWAY not toward it! That stuff smelled bad and it can't be good for you. They don't come through here anymore, though...no doubt they've been rerouted to those fancy new neighborhoods like World *choke* Golf *gag* Village.

robin andrea said...

I haven't been to the movies in ages, but I remember really liking all the sugary, sweet, chocolatey stuff I could get my hands on.

It's been years since I thought about those trucks that drove down the street spraying for mosquitoes. Oh yeah. I think they said it was good for us, or at least it wouldn't hurt.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

My favorite is Flicks (chocolate wafers in a cardboard tube). I just returned from California, where I discovered that to take my Mom out to the movies, complete with treats and beverages from the snack bar ran to nearly $50. Thank goodness for Netflix!

Floridacracker said...

To all,
Okay, I actually don't eat candy in the movies anymore, but I still love my childhood movie candy, Snowcaps. If the truth be known, I am a movie popcorn (unbuttered of course) megafan. Give me plain movie popcorn and a cold coke and I am a happy movie goer.

Pablo,
Chocolate transcends mere candydom.

Hoss,
Jujubes...wonderful.

Laura,
Who knew malathion had side effects?
The kids like movie candy so we hit Walmart for their movie candy rack...great minds think alike. As for the Gator fan...she's watching a 1990 rerun game as I type.

Swampy,
Sugar Daddies and Sugar Babies were a favorite item in my Halloween bag.

Deb,
I have posted on peanut M&M's before...a perfect food. Same video rental situation here. Once I joined Netflix I never stepped back into the video rental place again. Stupid late fees! Go Netflix!

Hurricane Teen,
You are young enough to know what we didn't when we played in the spray. You're right...World Golf Village is a double gag.

Robin,
Now when the trucks go by, they spray a ULV (ultra low volume) mist of malathion...it's practically invisible.
Most mosquito control districts here use a mix of non spray control methods, but unfortunately they still resort to spraying when mosquito populations bloom. We are too far out for that sort of thing thank goodness.

Hal,
The tickets aren't bad, but the $10 popcorn and $4 cokes add up fast!

Hurricane Teen said...

I forgot to mention...they expermented here last year (or maybe the year before) with dropping mosquito control from airplanes...I saw them do it one night, and I haven't seen it since. I hope they didn't determine that is was a health hazard cause they dropped it right near my house. Haven't seen the trucks since about 2001.

Debbie said...

I'm a popcorn and coke person also. But when my husband goes with me he buys chocolate covered raisins, which I allow him to share with me.
The mosquito truck still comes through my Tallahassee neighborhood. Today's kids must be smarter then when I was growing up. My kids would never consider running behind the fog truck. They already know that breathing chemicals meant to kill something can't possibly be good for you.
If you haven't seen "Sunshine State" yet, make sure that you add it to your Netflix list. Everything about it is entertaining. From the story line, to the characters, to the "old Florida" references. You won't be disappointed.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I'll try to see if I can rent that movie.
My favorite movie candy is Sour Patch Kids...this has become a movie tradition with my grandson Brandon and myself when we go to the movies. I really have other favorites, but since this is our tradition...it has to be my favorite.

Wayne said...

Ahh, who needs movie candy when you can enjoy the heady aroma of a fine spray of diesel fuel and malathion? There's just no competition.

I am almost certain I've seen Vernon, Florida.

John Cowart said...

Wow! Ginny and I thought we were the only people in the world ever to have seen the Vernon video. It's the greatest movie. I loved the part about calling turkey.

Floridacracker said...

Hurricane Teen,
When I rangered in Savannah, I worked closely with the Chatham County Mosquito Control guys since they were trying to keep the citizens of Tybee Island happy and mosquito free, yet the NPS didn't want them spraying on our 5000 acres of Fort Pulaski saltmarsh. They were pretty innovative using BT and minnows where possible, but they would aerial spray Tybee if the LRC (landing rate count) was 100 per minute. The mosquito guy would drive out to a known point in the park and expose his arm, then count the number of skeeters that landed in one minute.

Deb,
More of a Goobers person than Raisenettes, but would not turn down either if my chocolate jones was peaking. Same here about our kids...they look at me in wide eyed bewilderment when I tell them some of the things we did...
Sunshine State is the next thing I'm Netflixing.


Abandoned,
You are such a good Grandmother and probably the coolest with that big trike :)


Wayne,
I watched Miracle Mile last night. Pretty cool.


John,
Close I think...can't be too many.
That Turkey Hunter loved it didn't he.

LostRoses said...

Ahhh, the fogger truck! That was the highlight of our day when it drove down our street when we were kids growing up in Sarasota. And of course we ran behind it! Wonder what they were spraying with back in the '50s and '60s? Probably DDT.

Things have changed since then, but not SNOCAPS, love them!

Thunder Dave said...

I'm a popcorn fan too, but if I did eat candy at the movies it would be Hot Tamales.

Rurality said...

Well I'm behind in blog visits but have to say I think you may be my long-lost brother! I like popcorn over sweets at the movies, I loved "Vernon" so much it made me want to be a documentary filmmaker, and I was always the kid who convinced all the other kids to run in the cloud behind those trucks...

thingfish23 said...

Vernon, Florida has always been a favorite for my friends and I. I've probably watched it 5 times or so...

"Yep - he's a fine piece of meat for the dinin' table..."

I like the old feller's comments on the horse carcass that was filled with walleye perch.

I could go on and on.

"...yeah - and that's just the TOP of it."

"YOU need to have a 'therefore' experience!"

Floridacracker said...

Lostroses,
I think we might have been playing in DDT back then...an NPR story on Ospreys today mentioned that DDT was banned in '72. I had played in a lot of fogger "smoke" by then.
... and snowcaps do taste the same, ain't life grand?

ThunderD,
I know 'em, but I'd have to stick with my Caps :)

Rurality,
Well Sis, I was wondering what happened to you. I figured the soap business must have lathered up again!
Great minds think a like! I am amazed at the Vernonophiles out there, how come I didn't know about this movie...what else do I not know????

Thingfish,
Where have you been? I guess I need to check the Bandaide again!

Mrs. S said...

M&M's are my favorite candies - preferably the "original" version of the candy, and even more preferably with a bag of Salt & Vinegar Chips!

See, this is why I have such a hard time answering when people ask me "What strange cravings have you had since being pregnant?"

Marcus said...

"skeeter" fogger and Little League baseball. Reminds me of similar experiences during the 1960s-70s growing up in Green Cove Springs.

Aikäne said...

Thanks for the review. All this commotion about Vernon sure did get my sights up! I grew up on a farm north of Bonifay, but my mother's folks were all down along the Holmes/Washington County line. I'm adding the DVD to my list too. Who knows, I may see a few of my relatives. And I'm adding Sunshine State to the list as well.

Have you ever seen reports on Wausau's Possum Festival? That's not far from Vernon - and big with all the politicians on election years.