Friday Nights at the Drive In

Don’t come here looking for any racy stuff.  I usually went to the drive-in with my parents or friends in my later years.  Mom and Dad used to take Missy and I to the drive in occasionally – I suppose whenever dad had the night off.  I can remember the big playground areas where they had swings and slides, and all sorts of good stuff.  Mom would walk us up there and then leave us to play – as did every other mom in the place.  You sure couldn’t do that today!  It was fun back then, but it seemed I always, without fail, ended up with an earache and we had to go home early.  I don’t know why we went home, the earache didn’t go away.  I think we could have just taken sweet oil (the stuff mom used to put in my ears) and a cotton ball with us and then stayed for the movie! 

Most of my memories of drive ins were spent with Dorothy – she had a car, I didn’t have one until I got married.  I remember when Elvis died and a local drive in showed dusk to dawn Elvis movies.  I wasn’t much of an Elvis fan, so I took a sleeping bag and slept on the hood of the car.  That is, after we ate our share of peach Jell-o.  We used to eat it right out of the box, kind of like a pixie stix.   It was good!  We went one time to see “The Wrestler” – I can’t remember who went with us that time.  It was hysterical.  We had a great time. 

I got the biggest scare of my life at a drive in.  My roommate at the time, Gene, and I had gone to the Sky View on 72nd Street north of Ames to see the original…. Oh crap, the name escapes me right now.  It was a Stephen King movie…. Oh yeah, the Shining, with Jack Nicholson.   The lot was full so they decided to replay it at 3 a.m.   We got there about 2, and they let us in, we were just catching the last part of  “The Town that Dreaded Sundown”.  I was sitting in the car, petrified (I really don’t like horror movies – I love the books, but I can close a book anytime!).  I was hardly breathing I was so scared, when all of a sudden I heard this crunch of gravel and footsteps next to my car door.  I screamed so loud!  The guy who was walking by with his popcorn screamed just as loud as me, and popcorn went flying!  It was hysterical!  We both laughed until we cried – mostly from relief I think.  He was as scared by the movie as I was.  I didn’t get that scared again until my house got broken into and I was locked in my bedroom watching the doorknob turn…

Drive ins were starting to die about by the time Steve and I started dating.  I think the only one left by then were the Q-Twin drive ins on 120th and Q Street.  We did go to a movie one night – A Stephen King movie if I remember right.  I got the worst stomach ache of my life and we had to come home.  That was the end of that.  Never saw another drive in movie.  Too bad, because it was so much fun to sit out on a warm summer night and just kick back in a lawn chair, car hood, or pickup bed, and enjoy the movie in the great outdoors.  I kinda miss them. 

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Filed under Blast from the Past, family, Friends, Life in General

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