Watercolor of The Old School House from the Movie “The Birds”

When I first moved to the Bay Area in 1990, my mom recommended a restaurant in the town of Bodega where Alfred Hitchcock filmed the 1963 movie “The Birds.” She said it was the best meal she’d ever eaten and it had great atmosphere because the restaurant its self was located in the old school house used in the film. Unfortunately not long after she made the recommendation, the restaurant closed, making way for a bed and breakfast.

In 1993, my girlfriend and I decided to get out of town for the weekend and chose to stay in the old school house B&B. We drove an hour north of San Francisco to the town of Bodega, ready for a weekend of adventure. When we arrived at the house, I instantly saw why Hitchcock used the place—it looked mysterious and creepy. A large silhouette of Hitchcock was humorously placed in the upstairs window. Walking inside, the old building’s floor boards creaked as we walked from room to room. Upstairs, a large room (where breakfast would be served) was nearly vacant except for a table with chairs, and a TV with the movie “The Birds” in the cassette player.

Our room was on the ground floor, located in the school classroom and converted into a bedroom. A blackboard still decorated one wall and an old school desk sat next to the bed as a night stand. I couldn’t help looking out the window periodically, scanning the trees for birds. No one else stayed in the B&B that night but us. Not even the proprietor who left that evening doing errands and didn’t return until breakfast.

The next morning I painted while sitting on the bed, looking out the window. I added a few extra birds on the wire just for fun. After breakfast, I parked myself across the street and under a shade tree to paint the the old school house. Still remembering scenes from the movie, I imagined kids running out of the school and down the street, fighting off those fierce birds!