I.C. MURRELL — Gift ideas for grads and moms

Published 12:14 am Friday, May 1, 2020

In a world where a health crisis impacts communities, businesses are opening amid the pandemic, some people are cautious and others are restless … there’s a compromise.

Yeah, that may read like some Don LaFontaine promotion script, but that’s the reality we live in.

One thing that hasn’t come in short supply these past two months is entertainment.

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Whoever said sliced bread was the greatest invention apparently never owned a television set, let alone an Amazon Fire or Roku stick.

Kudos goes to everyone who has adopted a high school senior during a school year like nothing anyone has ever experienced. Added kudos belongs to the mothers who clothe and feed our future leaders, as well as those who nurtured us adults of today.

If you’re struggling to find that perfect present to make this time special for mom and graduate, here’s an idea — support the movie industry.

Although movie theaters may open up to 25 percent capacity starting today under Gov. Greg Abbott’s economy plan, it’s not clear whether our local theater is up for the challenge. (While Central Mall will reopen today, individual stores will have the option to open or remain closed. Calls to B&B Theatres’ outfit at Central Mall have not been returned, and a call to B&B’s showtime hotline leads to a recorded message without giving a specific date for reopening.)

There is a light at the end of the tunnel: Home entertainment.

In my day, a videocassette of a six-month old movie would have brought the cinema experience home. A hot new CD would have been perfect for surrounding my house in the backwoods with stereo sound. A video game CD or cartridge would have brought the feeling of controlling characters oh, so close to real in a 64-bit world.

Most of those gifts aren’t so obsolete today, but consider for your graduate or mom a gift card to Spotify for hot new (or old-school) music.

Need something more visual? Give him or her a gift card to Netflix or Vudu. Throw in some boxes of microwave popcorn (or bottles of kernels for the cook), a six-pack of soda, and the happy viewer will be set, well, maybe until 2025.

LaFontaine, the world’s most famous movie voiceover who died in 2008, is looking down on a world he might not have ever imagined 12 years later.

A world where computers are still expensive but necessary? Yeah, that, too. But in all seriousness, one in which seasons other than those weather-related are not in full bloom are put on pause.

Will graduation exercises go on as scheduled? Where will they be held? When can kids dance again without a prom?

Scholastic sports are over, but what about the travel ball? Will we kick off football in late August?

The only date that’s certain is Mother’s Day on May 10.

Class of 2020, I don’t know how you feel, but I do sympathize. College graduates, you’re not forgotten. You guys are just getting started in the real world, so you need a gateway to entertainment.

Just think — that gateway could inspire our graduates to develop the next Spotify or Google Play, the next Nintendo system, laptop or internet modem. Technology always challenges us to discover what was once impossible.

We self-sustaining adults are the protagonists in a strange script that’s unfolding and fluid every single day, and making a graduate’s or mom’s day even more special makes for a happy ending.

Knowing that people near and afar are willing to help, LaFontaine would be happy to know what a wonderful world it is — no matter what we all face.

I.C. Murrell is the editor of The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at 409-721-2435 or at ic.murrell@panews.com.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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