Humbled by a 3-year-old’s knowledge

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Column by Jim Clark

Downtown was a mess last Friday afternoon. There was a big “Cars 2” event planned for Magnolia Avenue, in front of the Marion Theater, starting at 4 p.m.

About 3:45, a monsoon hit the area. Trees bent, winds howled, rain pelted down, for a good half hour. I sat in my car about a block away from the activities and waited for the storm to pass.

When I got to go over a street, I saw a line of cars parked down the middle of Magnolia. The cars all faced a “finish line” at the southern end, except for the car closest to Broadway, which was an old vehicle with big eyes.

Now I have to admit, I’m not much of a moviegoer. In fact, it’s probably been nearly 40 years since I graced the inside of a theater. I think the last movie I saw was “Lady Sings the Blues” with Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams.

I figure eventually I will be able to watch a movie at home a lot more comfortably.

So as I took my ignorance onto the street, a 3-year-old came running by me, pointed to the lead car and said, “Look, Towmater!”

At first I though it was just a little kid butchering the word “tomato,” but I walked around the side of the car and there it was, the word “Towmater.” Apparently this is a vehicle from “Cars 2.” It's actually called "Mater," and the name of the business is "Towmater," or so I'm told.

It took a while for many kids to arrive, but everyone who did immediately went for “Towmater.” They all knew what it was, moreso than some of us old fogeys. So I guess when these movies come on DVD, I’ll have to watch them and see what the fuss is about.

Meanwhile, this week, on Friday evening, downtown in front of the Marion Theater will be a kids “Transformers” dress-up contest.

For me, a “Transformer” is that electric box I used as a child in my basement to run my Lionel electric train set. There are also “transformers” on electric poles in my neighborhood. I know this from the loud bangs when one shuts down and someone’s lights go dark.

But I’ll have to go down to the Square Friday night and find out what these Transformers are. I’m sure I can find some 3-year-old to help me.


Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at 352-854-3986 or at editor@smcitizen.com.