Good Morning Gentle Readers,
I Am Legend struck me as Night of the Living Dead on steroids (and in color). Before it was a cult film I mean.
Saw Night of the Living Dead at one of those downtown 1930's movie palaces that even then was well past its prime. It was still a couple of years away from non-stop Spanish language porn films and it would be a decade before eminent domain and the bulldozers rearranged Broadway in Santa Ana into something less recognizable.
My girlfriend lived in Silverado Canyon and after the movie I had something in mind that would take her mind off scary things, but she was ready to go home.
These days Santiago Canyon Road is a commuter highway bordered by upscale gentleman ranches. At least those that survived last year's fire storms. Back in the day, it was winding narrow two lane canyon road that didn't really go much of anyplace, except to Cook's Corners, Silverado Canyon, and Modjeska.
I swear to you, Gentle Reader, there was a hitchhiking Living Dead, backlit by the harvest moon, lurking at the edge of every curve. They were peering at us from the chaparral and Sycamore dotted creek bed and staggaring around behind every granite outcropping on that narrow and desolate canyon road. It was like Disney's Haunted Mansion, except more believable.
And of course, that was one of the nights when her Ma didn't invite me to sleep on the couch in front of the fire. I was dodging Living Dead for an hour before the sweat cooled on my (then) less wrinkled forehead and I caught the cloverleaf at Chapman and the (two lanes) Newport Freeway.
Thank the Lord for small favors. Amen.