March 9th, 2013 | ABEL RAISES CAIN | Rehoboth Beach, DE
We divided our journey to Rehoboth Beach, DE into two parts and stopped halfway in Old Town Manassas, VA. Staying at the Manassas Junction B&B was a treat for all of us, including Cecil, who befriended resident dog, Maggie, a real flirt. The sun was setting as I went out to the car to retrieve some of our stuff. I experienced a magic hour moment enhanced by dramatic sounds. The wind was howling, a passing train was blaring its horn, and the wind chimes on the porch were clattering wildly. The cacophony was deafening yet blissful in a strange way.
An unusual bug that we saw in our room in Oswego must have followed us all the way to Virginia. I’m not sure if he hopped a ride in our suitcase or what. But there he was, again, in our room in Manassas. I guess the Western Conifer Tree Bug is the unofficial ‘On Screen In Person’ tour mascot. The following morning, we left the back of the minivan open again in our haste to outrun an approaching St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Kilt-adorned rows of bagpipe playing men marched in our direction and if we didn’t leave at precisely that moment, we would have gotten stuck there. Which wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing, since the B&B was a delightful place to stay. But we DID have a screening that night to get to!
It’s tortuous driving by so many thrift stores and not having time to stop and take a look around. It’s not like we have room to put anything in the car anyway, even if I scored something really great. So it’s just as well. I guess I was born to be a collector. I don’t know if it’s a hoarding tendency I’ve inherited, but I appreciate old things. Our film would not have been a reality had my parents not collected all of their memorabilia over the years. So I respect the process of saving, reusing and repurposing – bringing new life to things that might have just sat in a dusty attic going unnoticed otherwise.
Luckily our drive is no longer than a few hours. Crossing the Delaware border, the farmland is lush and it’s such an amazing contrast from the snow-covered mountains we witnessed the day before. We pulled into Rehoboth Beach and found ourselves amidst a tourist’s delight with beckoning billboards: “Hooters – Kids eat free on Tuesdays” and “Crabby Dick’s – Slurp ’em down – best mussels in town!” No thanks to either of those. Or we could shop at Candy Kitchen, a dazzling behemoth of a place that might be more aptly renamed Diabetes Land. Every single kind of colorful candy displayed that you could possibly ever imagine is there, putting poor Willy Wonka’s enterprise to shame.
Continuing along the coastal highway, we passed a sign-spinning guy on the side of the road who looked like Napoleon Dynamite. Jeff suggested that we pay him some cash and ask him to advertise ABEL RAISES CAIN. Like maybe he could stick one of our posters on his arrow and do some tricks with it. It was a short-lived fantasy that was interrupted by our sighting of the giant multiplex, ‘The Movies at Midway.’ My dad said there must be some mistake. This couldn’t be the place we’re screening because our movie was not advertised on the outdoor marquis!
The screening that night was probably one of the best audience reactions we’ve had so far on the tour. Jeff and I wondered if laughing gas had accidentally been piped into the theatre through the air duct system. Everyone was over 50 and it was really interesting to witness the audience collectively getting so many of the references in the film that often go over college kids’ heads. Young people in their 20’s were too young to know Jenny Jones or Phil Donahue. They weren’t even born yet! The uproarious laughter I fantasized about a few evenings before came true in Rehoboth Beach. It was an incredible evening and fun was had by all.
Photo: Film subject, Alan Abel, and wife, Jeanne
Of course daylight savings happened, so one more hour out the window for a constantly tardy group. We really need more sleep! I don’t know how bands do it – playing a gig every night and traveling during the day. It is really hard. Our schedule isn’t even that grueling, but it takes a toll on all of us. After breakfast the following day, we took a relaxed stroll on the boardwalk. Our dog got his ya-ya’s out meeting a parade of other dogs and galloping along the beach at breakneck speed. It was a gorgeous afternoon and a neat way to end our visit to Rehoboth Beach.
Post by OSIP Touring Filmmaker, Jenny Abel.