June 7th is a special time of the year for people of a certain age, from a certain time with a certain set of memories. Movies, as we all know, hold special places in our hearts. They remind us bad times, happy times and sometimes simpler and less complicated times. In Astoria Oregon on top of a hill that overlooks the Columbia River sits a 2-story house with a porch that wraps around the front. It’s only accessible by a steep dirt driveway, which it shares with its neighbors. To most people, this house is just that, another house. However for those people that I mentioned at the beginning that the house is much more than a house. It’s the Holy Grail, our mecca it’s the cornerstone of the Goondocks.
Now you may be asking yourself, “what the hell is a goondock?” and if you are this house and the date of June 7th means nothing to you. 30 years ago today a movie came out which changed and inspired the lives, hearts and minds of maybe an entire generation. This film is called the Goonies.
The Goonies is a film about a group of close, middle-class friends who set out on an adventure to save their homes, lives, and future. Throw in some bank robbers, awe-inspiring scenery, pirate ships filled with gold and you have the makings of a childhood dream adventure. If you were born anywhere in the late 70’s or 80’s, then you know this movie and remember this movie well. Sitting here writing this I can literally remember the film scene by scene even 30 years after I first saw in the theaters. It’s hard to quantify what this movie means for people my age, the original fans of the film. It wasn’t just a movie then and still isn’t now. It’s become a part of our hearts and minds and to some degree possibly defined who we would become as adults. This film inspired countless times where my cousins and I would reenact the movie while playing outside.
We, the movies original fans, may not have realized it then but looking back now, most fans can identify with individual characters, their hopes, dreams, fears, desires, insecurities, and attitudes. The movie was a reflection of us as kids at that point In our lives. It made us believe in deep friendships, loyalty, family and most of all; adventure. For many fans, we haven’t let that go. It didn’t matter whether we looked like Chunk, talked like Mouth, dreamed like Mikey or was inventive like Data we managed to form bonds with and appreciate people entirely different than us at a young age. Mikey and his brother were Catholic, and Chunk was Jewish for example. It didn’t matter what our parents did for living, the kind of house we had or the religious views of those around us. There is a purity that still exists in that movie, and I cannot think of a film made since that captures the same spirit that The Goonies did for kids of that time. I do not believe many have tried.
In some way, no matter what way life has taken us there is a bond that still exists because of The Goonies. Even in just a pop culture sort of way it’s something younger generations can only pretend to get. I may not talk to my friends anymore from that point in my life, and I may not speak to my cousins as much as what I should or can. Our lives have taken us in sometimes drastically different directions. However much time as passed and no matter how much distance there is somewhere insides of all of us there is and always will be a Goonie looking for an adventure and grasping at our dreams.
This past Sunday was June 7th and is Goonies day in Astoria Oregon. That wonderfully peaceful and sleepy yet epic coastal town will host hordes of fans of The Goonies film. Whether they will be at Mikey’s house, the old jail, the docks or Ecola State Park (the restaurant scene) near Cannon Beach they will be doing the Goonies walk back in time to a simpler place and easier life. Although I will not be able to go this year, I know someday my little Goonie, Jax Michael, and I will be there. I will show him the places that inspired my youth and helped me believe in my dreams and myself and maybe even hear some Cindy Lauper along the way.