From the Balcony
- Posted By : Brook Willeford
- Comments : 10
Wait, that’s not right.
“As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a gangster.”
Nope, something’s still off.
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
There we go.
My name’s Brook Willeford, and my Clyde story starts in an Empire Strikes Back sleeping bag in the balcony.* That’s where I curled up when my parents were both working at the theatre and it was just too late for me. I would lie in the balcony or the projection booth, watch the bright lights flashing on the dark ceiling, and dream of galaxies far away.
Thirty-ish years later, I’m back on the Island full time, building a house with my lovely wife, and joining my parents in the family business. I’ve been a volunteer coordinator, a game designer, a game writer, an advertising copywriter, but through it all, I’ve been a movie lover and an Island boy at heart. Now I get to be an Island boy in fact, and bring my love for the movies to the community I grew up in.
Whenever my parents tell someone that I’m joining the family business, the first question that person has for me is “What are you going to change?” My answer has always been: “Nothing.” My parents have done an amazing job making the Clyde a part of the community, and the community a part of the Clyde. In my mind, that’s the most important thing about a small community business, and I never want that to change.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to add something, of course. I’d love to see video games at the Clyde, either as part of charity efforts such as Extra Life (www.extra-life.org) or as community competitions. But really, I just want to help keep the Clyde front and center for another generation or two of South Whidbey-ites.
May the movies be with you, always.
*I suppose my Clyde story properly starts at two weeks old, crying in the lobby because the car crashes in The Blues Brothers were too loud (I strenuously disagree with my two-week-old-self now). But the sleeping bag is my first Clyde memory.