A Storm in Summer

A Storm in Summer
A Storm in Summer
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The year is 1969 and Abel Shaddick is a crusty, old delicatessen owner in the upstate New York picturesque town of Fairview. Shaddick has grown into a sarcastic and embittered old man whose life has become stagnant and routine. A widower , he lost complete passion for life following the death of his beloved don, Benjy, killed during World War II. For Shaddick, life has never been the same. His business is suffering and he has no time or patience for anyone or anything. The only person he sees with any regularity is his freeloading nephew, Stanley. While partying at the country club one evening, Stanley “overreacts” and volunteers to sponsor an inner city child with selfish hopes of impressing, Gloria Ross, an attractive local socialite. The program’s goal is to help underprivileged children spend two weeks of their summer vacation in Fairview with a local family. Stanley does not have any true intentions of caring for this youth, since he has plans to soon leave town for a job opportunity. Meanwhile, 8-year-old Herman Washington, who lives in Harlem with his grandmother, prepares for his trip. His grandmother attempts to excite him over the fact that he will be spending two weeks outdoors in the fresh air fishing and swimming. Herman’s old brother, Bill, serving in the Vietnam War, has promised to take Herman fishing as soon as he returns home, and the thought of going fishing now has made him miss his brother all the more. When Herman arrives in Fairview, he meets Stanley at the bus depot. Stanley quickly directs him toward his uncle’s deli as he himself hops a bus out of town. Shaddick is appalled to learn that Stanley has abruptly left town upon the boy’s arrival, leaving him now in charge of caring for the boy. Shaddick gripes at Herman, and informs him to take the next bus back home. Accustomed to disappointments, Herman quietly takes a seat and proceeds to wait for the next bus. With a touch of remorse seeping in to his rigid mind, Shaddick offers Herman a meal. When Herman sees his fish in the deli display, he reveals that he has never been fishing, but that his brother will be taking him as soon as he returns from the war. Shaddick softens a bit as he tells the boy about how he and Benjy used to enjoying fishing together and miraculously decides to take Herman. This is a monumental occasion for Shaddick because he has not been fishing since Benjy’s death. The unlikely duo bond on an emotional level as Shaddick describes how Benjy died in combat, and Herman expresses his fears over his brother being in Vietnam. They get along so well that Shaddick decides to let Herman spend the night and by the next day, he offers to keep Herman for a few more days. The more time the two spend together, the more their friendship and mutual respect deepens. It is quite obvious that Herman absolutely adores his brother, since he speaks of him with great pride. It is therefore heartbreaking for Shaddick to have to tell Herman the horrible news of his brother’s death. Shaddick knows all too well how devastating this news is and comforts him with words of experience as he prepares for his journey back home. Fighting to hold back his tears, Herman implores Shaddick to never cry again, that somehow they’ll both find a way to deal with their pain. As Shaddick sees the boy off, he assures him that his room will be waiting for him when he returns the following summer. Herman leaves, after having breezed into town like a storm in summer, affecting and refreshing everyone in his path.

  • Pater Falk
  • Andrew McCarthy
  • Nastassja Kinski
  • Ruby Dee
  • Aaron Meeks
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