Raiders of the Lost Ark image: Movie Pilot

Indiana Jones Smells Good

I recall nothing about the film, just the scent of his cologne.

I had my first date at the tender age of 14. I went out with a cowboy named Todd. An actual cowboy, mind you: bareback riding, rodeos, hats, and Wranglers.

For the record, this is Todd and me at a high-school dance complete with tight-rolled jeans, lopsided bangs, and color-coordinated sweater, shoes, and lipstick. Lookin’ good.

Lookin’ hip in high school (1989).

For my first date, Todd picked me up in his parents’ red and white Blazer. He wore a white cowboy hat. It was summertime; black felt hats are for the fall and winter.

We got in the red and white Blazer. It smelled of his cologne. I liked.

We drove to a restaurant, a pub-like place that no longer exists. We ate pub-ish food — hamburgers and french fries. We drank cokes. (Recall: I am 14, he is 17. It is Louisiana, the South, the Bible belt.)

We finished eating, but the waitress took her time bringing the check. Our movie — Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) — was about to begin. We waited. We waited. We talked. I once more inhaled the smell of cologne.

She finally arrives. Todd pays. We walk to the theatre for tickets. Indiana Jones on opening night: it’s nearly sold out. As we walk into the darkened cineplex we see only two seats: front row, left side.

We make it to our chairs, heads tilted up at the screen the entire time. The front row, it’s too close. But ask me if I cared… I recall virtually nothing about the film other than Harrison Ford and Sean Connery starred in it.

What I do remember: a swell in John Williams’ music just as Todd reached over and held my hand for the first time. And I remember that cologne — which if I close my eyes and sniff deep enough, I can still smell to this day.