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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Other Summer Movies of the 80s: Six Pack

Released: July 23rd, 1982

Kenny Rogers: Brewster Baker

Diane Lane: Breezy

Erin Gray: Lilah

Barry Corbin: Sheriff

Terry Kiser: Terk

Anthony Michael Hall: Doc

Screenplay by Mike Marvin and Alex Matter

Directed by Daniel Petrie

Rated PG

My girlfriend and I celebrated my birthday with a lovely dinner at Pizza Hut and then a movie at the Mansion Mall Cinema, which was Poplar Bluff's other two-screen movie house. It was situated in a shopping plaza directly across the busy highway that runs north and south through town. Our parents dropped us off at Pizza Hut. We ate. She gave me a card and a couple of 45 rpm records as gifts. One was John Mellencamp's (John Cougar then) "Hurts So Good" and the other was "Even the Nights Are Better" by Air Supply because that was our song. That's how I knew I was in a relationship. We had a song. I had a girlfriend for a little while my freshman year, but we didn't have a song. So, this felt real.

After dinner, we had to cross the highway in order to get to the movie theater. Basically, we played a live action version of the video game Frogger. The movie was Six Pack, a racing picture starring Kenny Rogers as a down-on-his-luck driver who has a meet-cute with a group of orphans who know how to work on cars. A young Diane Lane played the oldest sister/matriarch figure of the orphans and I thought she was lovely. I don't recall a lot of specifics about Six Pack beyond Diane Lane's charisma and Kenny Rogers' genial acting style. One thing I do recall is that it is, to my memory, the first time I heard the catchphrase, "no shit, Dick Tracy." That made my girlfriend and I laugh and we repeated "no, shit Dick Tracy" the remainder of the evening. Classic.

The summer ended and at the time it seemed we drifted apart as the school year started. We didn't talk as much anymore and went our separate ways. A couple of years ago I reminisced about that summer romance and how it ended. The realization dawned that perhaps I was the reason we drifted apart. It wasn't some mutual thing that sometimes happens between two people, but rather something initiated by me through my behavior. WE didn't drift. I did. An awful weight of guilt descended on my conscience.

It is possible, I thought to myself, that I ghosted that poor girl.

No shit, Dick Tracy.

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