Today I learned that Sidney Poitier has died. He was 94.
When I was growing up, my mom and I would often watch “Saturday Night at the Movies.” Back then the local network channel would broadcast a movie of their choosing at 10:30 on most Saturday nights. Even though we didn’t get to choose what movie we watched, we were usually happy with whatever movie was shown. My dad almost always went to bed, so it was just my mom and I. I’d get my pillow and lay on the floor in front of our console TV.
I remember the tears flowing with “Madame X.” I can still see that little boy running and yelling out “Shane… Shane…Shane.” I’ll never forget Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in “The African Queen” getting all those leeches off. My mom and I spent many nights with Doris Day, John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and so many others. However, one of my very favorites, even back then, was Sidney Poitier. His movies stuck with me.
Movies like “A Patch of Blue.” “To Sir With Love.” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” And since I was taught by nuns in both grade school and high school, a personal favorite has always been “Lilies of the Field.” Perhaps that movie is why I’ve always remembered and treasured the verses to “…consider the lilies of the field….that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… But seek ye first his kingdom…and all these things shall be added onto you.”
Those Saturday nights with my mom were good times. And oh, those movies were so very good. In more ways than one. Even as a young teenage girl, Sidney Poitier’s movies inspired me
To serve. To see beyond skin color. And to be humble.
Thank you, Sidney.