A Christmas Story Convention
“YOU’LL SHOT YOUR EYE OUT KID!”……….is something I never really heard as a child. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about BB Guns, pistols, rifles, slingshots, water cannons………well, you get the idea. I’ve just never been that kind of guy. So, why did “A Christmas Story” resonate with me so strongly?
Unless you’ve been busy running from Scut Farkus for the last thirty-five years, you know what the movie is about: Ralphie Parker, a young boy of about ten years old, who wants nothing more than to obtain a “Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle”.
While I’ve never really been into weaponry of any kind, I think the reason I can identify with, and love, “A Christmas Story” so much is because you could replace the Red Ryder BB gun with any sought after Christmas toy and it instantly becomes YOUR story. For me, it was WWF wrestling, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, or Star Wars action figures that I most pined for, and would do (almost) anything to get my hands on. When Ralphie despairingly realized he may not get what he wanted most in the world………I FELT HIS PAIN.
For almost thirty-five years now I’ve put myself in Ralphie’s place, as I watched, usually several times per holiday season, his attempts to make his dreams come true. So, what is the next logical thing to do when you love this movie as much as I do? Well, visit that house on “old Cleveland Street” of course!
In 2010, we journeyed to Cleveland, Ohio, site of the house featured in exterior shots of a Christmas Story, where we attended a convention dedicated to the movie, toured the house and museum set up to display props and memorability from the movie and met several stars of the movie including the actors who played Randy, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill, Flick, and Santa’s two angry elves. In a surreal moment attended a live screening of the movie with commentary by Ian Petrella (Randy).
(Our niece modeling the hat.)
While, unfortunately, they haven’t done this convention again since that year, you can still visit and tour the A Christmas Story House and Museum all year long. In late November/early December a 5k and 10k run is hosted specially made medals for the participants. The spirit of “A Christmas Story” is alive and well, making a trip to Cleveland a must for any fan!