When I was seven years old my family had friends from Florida stop by our home in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Jack was a Seminole Indian and a deputy Sheriff. He brought dangerous fireworks that scared our neighbors. He loved to drive around at night, get his headlights in the rear view mirror of the car in front of him, honk his horn and hit the high beams when the poor sap looked up. He would laugh and yell, “Look at ’em swerve!”
Jack was adamant that we all go to see what he said was, “The greatest movie ever made!” You don’t say no to guys like Jack, so we all went to see Smokey and the Bandit with him. Jack had seen the film already, probably more than once. He recited all of Jackie Gleason’s lines along with the soundtrack.
I have never been in a theater so crowded or so full of laughing people. The brainless goofball silliness of the whole thing just worked in a way that few movies have before or since.
Burt Reynolds was cool. He will be missed.