Sunday, June 14, 2009

Goonies Astoria

I got to see Mikey's House.

And Data's. And the museum. And the county jail. Also saw Haystack Rock and the store where Chunk is eating his pizza as the police chase zooms through town. I saw Astoria High School and Andy's field. I also got to walk the same beaches where they had that really neat ORV rally. Didn't see any with bullet holes.

Yes, I did a Goonies Tour while in northwestern Oregon.

I've long been a fan of Chris Columbus/Stephen Spielberg's sleeper hit from the early 1980s. My sister Chris saw the movie at the theater, and introduced it to us not long after that newfangled thing called the VCR came to Idaho Falls. I watched the movie a lot, and empathized with Chunk, the fat kid who wants to be part of the group but is only marginally included because of the comic value. If I were part of the Goonies, a band of kids who decide to go after some "rich stuff" -- hidden pirate treasure -- I'd be the fat kid doing the Truffle Shuffle.

So when we went through Astoria, I made sure to make it a Goonies Day.

The kids were very excited when I told them we were going to see a house in a movie. They're not even Goonies fans yet. I've tried, but the film is just a bit too scary for them. They were disappointed we couldn't go into the house. That's just how it is, I said. But we took lots of pictures, none of which I have downloaded yet because that's how this weekend has gone.

I really wanted to go into the jail. Too bad it's closed to the public. I had no idea when the movie was filmed that the old jail wasn't being used any more. Just assumed it was. And it's a lot smaller than it looks in the movie.

Astoria wears its Goonie history proudly. The Goonie House appears on tourist maps. The jail itself bears a paper placard declaring its use in the film, and outlining other films made in the area. As if anyone cares about the others.

Astoria, by the way, is a fun town. We had lunch there at the Pig n Pancake, part of a local chain of eateries, right in the shadow of the bridge Chunk could see if he weren't busy watching the bullets fly. What fun that was.

Did not get into Ecola State Park. Really, really wanted to, but the rest of the family said they'd seen enough trees. But the whole way through Astoria, I kept on saying: "You said, you said when I got to the top of this big hill, you said you'd give me a Twinkie." I didn't get one either, Chunk.

I wonder if John Jacob Astor, the rich stuff financier for whom the town is named, likes the fact that for a small portion of the American population, his town has a more meaningful cultural connection to a bunch of kids, a guy named Sloth, the Fratellis and One-Eyed Willy than to him. I wonder if I really care all that much.

No comments: