Real heroes

My Thoughts

atwoods@sti.netMarch 18, 2014 

This month the local community has been celebrating the first anniversary of the re-opening of the MET Cinema theatre in Oakhurst. The story of the young men who, with their knowledge of technology, their desire to save a place special to them, their unlimited spirit, and their determination convinced 3,000 folks to become "Met Heroes" and to sign on to the concept of a membership theatre program.

They call us MET Heroes and we call them the same thing, and now we see that those guys are taking the concept across the nation. I hope they make a bunch of money with their project.

The MET Cinema was filled with some special MET Heroes this past week. Last Friday afternoon, my wife and I decided to take in a movie and we selected "Mr. Peabody and Sherman." The reviews looked fun and we just were looking for a restful time munching the great popcorn, enjoying an iced tea and sitting back for the animated feature. Prior to the movie, we were treated to a better show. It was the display of kindness and compassion, love and caring between family members in the seats of that little theatre.

The first to enter was a twenty-something man walking with a cane and a serious leg injury alongside a young boy who could have been a son or nephew. The two sat down and the young man began the task of eating the huge amount of popcorn in the bucket. I even commented to the little fellow that it was cool to be out with a guy who did not worry about spoiling his appetite for dinner with such a large popcorn portion. In a few minutes, a lady who probably was the older man's mom came in to join them and she had the beverages in her hands.

Next came a trio — a boy around 5 or 6, his mom, and grandpa walking with a slow gait. It took a while for the elderly man to take his seat and the little boy to get situated with his booster box so that he could see the screen. Mom went back to get the drinks and an ice cream bar for the boy.

Apparently, grandpa wanted one so back she went for her dad's ice cream. As she had ordered a bunch of snacks and she had only two arms, Ryan (one of the MET employees) helped her by carrying the food down to her family. That kind of service doesn't happen in large cities.

Next came a grandmother with two full buckets of popcorn looped over her arms, ICEE drinks in each hand and her two grandsons bounding down the aisle and into the chosen row and seats. She divided the popcorn into four containers and sat down. Soon grandpa arrived as he had been out in the lobby chatting with somebody while grandma was handling the boys.

The display of help for others did not end there. After the movie, the grandfather of the two boys told the older grandson to take his hand. That boy sort of resisted as he felt "old enough" to walk on his own. Instead of scolding the boy or embarrassing him with a stern warning, that kindly man simply said, "Here take my hand so that I don't get lost." The young lad saw it as helping his grandfather and not being treated like a baby.

The lady who brought the many treats to her son and her father provided each of them the opportunity to have a memory. When her dad is gone from this mortal state, her son will remember movies and ice cream with his grandfather. Grandpa will cherish for the remainder of his days the same event with his grandson. Those adults were and are heroes to their family members.

The man with the cane came out of the theatre slowly and was walking toward his van, which was parked next to my car. I saw the license plate from Tennessee that showed his limp came as a result of an injury which earned him the Purple Heart. Realizing this, I turned back toward him and thanked him for my freedom and his service. That hero did not say thank you but told me, "It was my great pleasure, sir." He suffers the injury and has lost full use of his leg and tells me it was his great pleasure. When we think of those who are lost on that airplane out of Malaysia and the families now hurting, it reminds us to hug our loved ones a little more often and to help others when we may.

So we talk of MET Heroes and we enjoy our wonderful theatre, but last Friday at the MET Cinema, Ryan, the two grandparents, the mom/daughter, and the war veteran were heroes to those they served.

It was awesome that I met those heroes at The MET.

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