Remembering the Drive-In



I smile as my mind conjures up childhood memories of going to the Drive-In.

As I reminisce, I remembered the lines of cars slowly wending their way through

the Drive-In ticket booth where Dad handed over two bucks for the whole carload.

It didn't matter how many people were in the car. The admission price was the same,

so often we'd bring other kids from our neighborhood.

I remembered the fun of driving over the "humps" to find the perfect location,

only to hear Dad yell "!X!X!" when the speaker didn't work and he'd have to

jockey the carload into another spot.

With the nose of the car pointing up at the screen, all of us kids had a great view from the back seat.

Once in awhile, I'd go with our neighbors who had a huge station wagon.

That was especially fun, as they'd back in and open the rear door.

The adults would sit outside the car on folding chairs and all of us kids

could watch the movie as we laid four-abreast propped up on our elbows

on piles of blankets and pillows.

Usually we'd get there early. Once the car was parked, we would all explode

out of the car and race to the playground located in the grassy area directly below the big screen.

They had wonderful "sling" swings there and we'd race to see who could pump their swing the highest.

Mom would always tell me to "keep an eye on your younger brother" : He was 5 and I was 11.

He'd always have to "go": So, I'd take him into the rest room that was located in the same low building as the Concession Stand.

Mom had given me a couple of nickels to get Hershey bars for us all to share.

The Concession Stand was always packed with people and very warm in there.

It smelled of hot dogs and buttery popcorn.

As dusk settled in, we'd hear the loudspeakers announce in unison that "the show will start in 10 minutes".

As the eldest, it was my job to herd us all back to the car, so that everyone was settled in and ready for the

cartoons that always kicked off the evening's entertainment. Dad would position the speaker over the driver's side

window and adjust the volume, while mom helped us arrange pillows in the backseat.

We'd watch the countdown on the giant screen as quiet settled over everyone like a warm blanket.

Then, "Presto"; the huge screen would light up with a brilliant Bugs Bunny chomping a carrot and

asking Elmer Fudd, "What's Up, Doc?": Bugs was followed by Tom and Jerry, or Popeye, or

Heckle & Jeckle who would have even Mom and Dad laughing out loud at their antics.


It was fun to hear all the laughing coming from the other cars.

Somebody honked their horn a few times. We all giggled.

Sometimes we watched the couple in the cars near us. We all giggled again.

As the first feature film  began, we'd unwrap the Hershey bars

I'd brought back from the Concession Stand and would dole out the little squares to  everyone.

We'd had to eat them first - before they melted.

Soon, Mom would pull out the two-handled shopping bag she'd brought.

It was filled with "drive-in" munchies ---- little waxed-paper clad peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,

apples, peanuts and, of course, lots of popcorn. Later, she'd hand out paper cups of cherry Kool-Aid to each of us.

Those summer nights of the good of days...filled to overflowing with fun and lots of laughing and tickling.

From "my seat" (next to the window behind the passenger seat) in our family sedan,

I could look out the rolled-down window up at the starry night sky and know that

"all was right with my world" that night.


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