During Pony Penning week on Chincoteague Island, the local Island Theater plays the 1961 Misty movie on repeat. I'm a big fan of old movie theaters, and wanted to watch the movie based on Marguerite Henry's 1947 Newbery Honor book Misty of Chincoteague, when I was on the island last summer, but there was so much to do, I never got around to it—I was so busy researching for my book Marguerite, Misty and Me. That just means I will have to make sure it happens this year. I will grab some popcorn and a pal.
What is special about the Island Theater, is there is a place with Misty's hoof prints on the sidewalk. It reminded me of the famous footprints in Hollywood in front of what used to be called Mann's Chinese Theater. The local library has a framed black and white photograph of Marguerite Henry kneeling beside Misty and writing her name into the wet cement.
The Island Theater marquee depicts the beautiful palomino pinto Misty of Chincoteague in a wild rearing pose. It's interesting because in the two years I've been researching Misty and Marguerite, poring over old photographs, archival records, and reading personal letters at the Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature at the University of Minnesota, I have not seen a picture of Misty rearing, nor read about her ever rearing. But I like the art anyway, as it evokes the beauty of the blond heroine of my storybook dreams.
If you love Misty of Chincoteague as much as I do, you definitely need to plan a trip. Also, pick up a copy of my latest book Marguerite, Misty and Me: a Horse Girl's Hunt for the Hidden History of Marguerite Henry and her Chincoteague Pony.