Movie buff and Suffolk University neighbor Don Emery had an unforgettable encounter with a film icon when he attended a screening and discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Modern Theatre.
The March 18 discussion featured Distinguished Visiting Scholar Mary Badham, who played Scout Finch in the film. She recalled the fun of starring in the landmark film at age 10 opposite Gregory Peck as well as the civil rights issues raised by the film and their continuing relevance today.
During the question-and-answer session that followed her discussion Emery stood up, holding a copy of the To Kill a Mockingbird soundtrack album, which he had hoped to have autographed.
“I thought you’d like to see this,” he said, holding up the vinyl record album and noting that he assumed that Badham also had a copy.
“Actually, I don’t,” she responded, according to Emery. She explained that her album disappeared years ago during a move.
“I’d had that album since I was a kid, but I thought, if anyone should have a copy, it’s her,” said Emory. So the Beacon Hill resident immediately offered to give Badham his copy.
“She put her hand to her chest and gasped, then came to the edge of the stage and gave me a hug, as the audience burst into applause.”
Emory said that he’s seen To Kill a Mockingbird a dozen times, and it’s only fitting that he give something to Badham after all that her Oscar-nominated performance has meant to him.
Suffolk University staff sent him photos of his exchange with Badham, which he shared with friends.
“Everyone loves Scout, so everyone was so envious,” he said.
Emery enjoys having easy access to campus events such as the To Kill a Mockingbird screening and discussion.
“Having students very nearby adds to the neighborhood feeling, because Beacon Hill is like a little village,” he said.
Above: Don Emery, Mary Badham and the donated soundtrack album