The Pitcher Shower

Written by Donald Harington
Review by Gerald T. Burke

Hoppy Boyd travels the back road of the Ozarks during the Depression with his portable motion picture gear. Everywhere he goes, he is greeted with gleeful anticipation by small-town folks dying to see the next Hopalong Cassidy feature. Young people are fascinated by his apparent glamorous life of fantasy and travel; they always connive to go along with him as assistants. Hoppy prefers his solitary existence, but one day he decides to take along Carl Whitlow for companionship. He quickly learns that Carl is really Sharline. Together they begin to expand the traveling show with juggling acts, popcorn, and other new embellishments. Then they run into the deranged preacher Emmitt Binns, who has a blinding crush on Sharline. Subsequently, Binns steals Hoppy’s movies, forcing him to try his luck showing the only movie he can find: a film adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mayhem follows.

Harrington has written a playful, funny tale that sometimes contains a certain pathos. Like Shakespeare’s play, this story borders on the mythic in its exploration of the mysteries of love and life in a realistic setting of the Depression-era South.