Tag: Indiana

Drive-in movie theaters are a summertime must !


Driving by the Cinema 67 Drive-In down in Spencer, Indiana last week, I had my nephew in the car. In a moment of nostalgia I mentioned, “You know your uncle and I used to love going to all night movies.”

“Really?”  A dose of reality hit me.  My little nephew has never been to a drive-in movie. Saturday night there was an experience one could never forget. I can still picture the drive in on the Southside …. The Greenwood Drive In is now a new car sales building.      

Getting ready for the drive-in took skills.  Sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights, mosquito repellent all loaded into my parents’ station wagon.

My sister and I would bounce around in the back seat until the car was parked on the best ramp away from the teenagers in their ‘souped-up Chevys”.  We would go to the playground and play while mom and dad stood nearby with the rest of the parents.   More than once you could see cars stop and a child/person get out of the trunk…. an easy way to avoid the 75 cent admission fee. 

Next stop was the concession stand.  Long, shiny counters were lined with food we’d never find in mother’s kitchen.  Corn dogs, crinkle fries, frozen malts and salty popcorn.  The best part was we got to eat it all in the car.

As dusk fell, the huge white screen took on a glow from across the parking lot.  But first a commercial on the screen of a dancing hot dog and a walking paper drink cup was to remind everyone to make one last visit to the concession stand.  

The drive-in had outdoor speakers blasting dialogue across the parking lot but it wasn’t necessary.  Our car was parked next to a pole with window speakers. This drive-in speaker actually would hang inside the car window.

Now in 2015 theaters is something you can go to any day of the week at almost any hour.  Or you can download a movie from Netflix and watch it in your living room or yes even the front seat of the car.   But it isn’t the same.

 “I got a question for ya,” my nephew said.  “Did my mom go to the drive in too?”   I should have mentioned that at the drive-in we once watched John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the movie “Grease” and then went home and acted out the movie for days.  But all I answered was “Yes, she did.”    

I once had a date with Wayne Phillips at a drive-in. The movie was Star Wars.   Well, that  was an experience I remember vividly.

But I didn’t share any memories.  Instead I said, “We’ll get a pizza and take it to a drive-in this summer.”   He’ll like that.

I wonder if  Wayne Phillips remembers;  the  drive in,  the movie  Star Wars,    and – – me.   



Winter in Indiana. Deal with it.


Less than a month ago my neighbor fired up his backyard barbecue.                   My husband rode around town on his motorcycle.  Our jackets were hung in the closet and we never once thought of getting even a sweater. 

Yet it looks like cold weather and snow might stick around for a while.

It is winter time.  Yes, we have snow and ice.  After all, this is Indiana.  If you want warmer weather day after day visit Hawaii.

Weather is the topic at the shopping malls, restaurants, even grocery stores.  You can’t go anyplace that weather isn’t the center of conversation.  True, I am as guilty as anyone else.

Aren’t we Hoosiers?  We should expect it.  If you listen to some people, you’d believe it was something new.  If you have switched from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day and back again, you may live in Indiana. 

Perhaps a mild winter can spoil us.   My mother recalls “old-fashioned” winters, when  the days  and  nights  were  cold, with  ferocious  winds day  after  day  for weeks.

The combined lack of sunshine with below average temperatures will amount to a formula for feeling under the weather.  Thus, everyone will talk about the weather.  Although some welcome any postponement of hot, humid Indiana summer, others foresee a more ominous forecast for area temperatures. 

Each person you meet on the street has an opinion about the weather and they will tell you.

Get with the program people, this is Indiana weather! 

Indiana High School Basketball sectional time is nearing and some of the worst winter snowstorms have struck during this time period.  The snow may close schools, stop work and halt traffic.  You can bet the basketball sectionals will be played as scheduled.

It is winter in Indiana.  Deal with it. 



Holidays and the In-Laws

Now that Christmas is drawing near, eventually the time will come when the in-laws will come for a visit.  I have a few suggestions on how to make the visit memorable.  It might make a difference if they return next year.

Think of the decorations.  When decorating your house, think more, more, and more.  A house can never be over-decorated.  Decorations should dominate the field of vision at all times.  Explain to them how you have been so busy decorating and celebrating for Christmas.

Give each child at least a dozen cookies a day.  Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, it doesn’t matter which kind as long as they are sugar coated.  The most the child should have in one day is 27.

Purchase magazines that have headlines about divorce.  Perhaps go to the library and take out a book on open marriage.  Leave it on the coffee table.

Constantly tell your in-laws how you had to buy everything that the children wanted for Christmas.  Who is to say it was not healthy to satisfy all their desires?  Tell them how your husband told you about all those gifts he wanted so badly but never received.  Those disappointments haunt him to this day.

Pick up more than one credit card application as you walk out of the department stores.  Place these half filled out applications throughout the house.  Mention that you do worry about whether you can pay off your credit cards during your lifetime.  That’s a legacy you can pass on to your children.

Purchase gifts that send them a message.  Buy them a piece of luggage and give them a book on travel.  Enclose more than one brochure about taking a cruise for the holidays.

Bring out all the Halloween treats that were never eaten and brag about the good sales on candy you found.

Lose all self-control in your eating habits.  Don’t worry about gaining weight.  You can always lose any pounds in January.  Every time your mother-in-law asks if she can help in the kitchen, be munching on food.  It is a good idea to lick any spoon, cough, and put it right back in the bowl.

Switch the local radio station to an all jazz station or try to find a rap station.  Pretend to understand the lyrics, snap your fingers or tap your foot.

Talk about how you always wanted a Saint Bernard.  If you have a dog already, wouldn’t he be an added enjoyment inside the house?

Try to telephone as many other family members or friends as you can.  So what if your in-laws are in the other room?  Hello Aunt Betty in Georgia, my husband said your pot roast was the best he ever ate.  Can I have that recipe? 

Set the goal of creating that perfect Christmas for the in-laws.  No expectations can be too high for the holiday season.  In fact, next year might be more perfect than this year.   They might actually take that cruise.








Hawaiian Minnie Mouse ??

Concrete lawn ornaments are nice and in Greenwood the lawn decorative  ornaments are difficult to miss as you drive down any street. 

There is a home that has pink flamingos in the yard and a home near me with a Dalmatian standing guard.

I wonder if the people who own the concrete bird bath on Main Street know that periodically a cat uses it  for a drinking fountain.   Do  you  suppose  the  birds  mind  sharing  their bath water?

There is a concrete goose on South Street that is wearing Purdue regalia while less than one block away another goose is wearing Indiana University logo fashion. 

My neighbor has a religious figure in her flower bed.  Across the street there is romance in the air  with a little  Dutch  boy and girl. 

While some lawn ornaments are made of concrete and finished with paint, in reality some of these are wood.  I mention the little old ladies in polka dot dresses bent over poesy patches.  Then there are the plywood statues of little boys who opt to help water the garden.

This city is not likely to lose its love of  lawn ornaments. On highway 135 there is an angel and two blocks away a gargoyle scowls.  And who could miss the bright blue gazing ball on a pedestal one street over.

Yes lawn ornaments are nice, but  Minnie  Mouse  decorated  as a  Hawaiian Hula Girl ??  Perhaps some people have way too much time on their hands.







Welcome To The Cookout !


Hamburgers  and  hot dogs on the grill are as American as  fireworks  on the Fourth of July.  Nonetheless .  . . . no two  families  cook  outdoors alike.                                          

Outdoor entertaining can be fun and time consuming. At our house the topic of conversation was should you put aluminum foil on the grill or not.

Why do men enjoy slaving over a hot barbecue?  Because they’re cooking caveman style – throw meat on a fire.  It’s their domain, that’s why.  My family is no exception.  The men cook out while the women scurry to get the rest of the meal.  Any minute the cook will announce that the food is ready.

I was raised on grilled food.  A burned, crusty taste is what I remember.  When my father cooked, he’d grill a hamburger so that it was burned on one side and almost raw on the other.  My sisters and I would tell him that it was both too burned and too raw, but he refused to cook any other way.  Eventually we got to like it.

My neighbor puts non-stick spraying oil on the grates.  I wonder why, when you see him prying to get the hamburgers off.  When he fixed cooked cabbage on the outdoor grill, his back yard had a smell for a week.

My cousin grills corn on the cob, alongside the main dish.  Without a doubt, the corn is done before the meat, but he never listens.  We eat crisp, charred corn on the cob every time.   

A friend of ours had a bad experience with turning and basting a lamb on the grill once.  He now refuses to cook anything but hamburgers and hot dogs.

My uncle always cooks in an area super organized.  The spices, tongs, fork, wire brush, kitchen towel, spatula, even a cutting board all in place.  Everything in its place to grill out. 

At my friend Larry‘s house, he grills with no meat.  No meat?  Yes, his wife fixes a totally vegetarian kabob.  The skewers are filled with green, red or yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, pears, pineapples, even apricots.  He’s tried about every vegetable on the grill other than avocados.  Let’s face it, avocados are one of those acquired taste.

Yet; my father never did learn the knack of using the rotisserie; the chicken would still be pink on one side.  Just like his hamburgers.

So,  foil on the grill or not?   My brother-in-law said it  best.   “I’m the guy cooking, so we use aluminum foil.”

My nephew interrupted, “You’re not stacking the charcoal like Dad does.”  A new controversy – yet an old conversation.  







There’s something about White Castle !


 My cousin Doug, who now resides in Arizona, stopped by  last week.   We enjoyed his visit, but late on Saturday night he  mentioned that he  wanted to try some gut busters.

It  took the  hubby a moment or two to think  what he meant.    But no matter what we might  call them, we all know  why we call them what we do.     White  Castle  hamburgers  have been an  American  staple  since the  first one was served in 1921.

I don’t think Cousin Doug has ever been for a visit and not run out for at least a six pack.  The most he ever ate, that I know of, in one night was ten.  Family legend has it that when my Uncle Ron came to town he could eat 32 white castles and drink a case of beer watching a basketball game.  I do not know if that is true or not.

These small, soggy, little hamburgers really have an acquired taste.  Extra pickle, extra onion along with a slice of cheese is optional.  So why then, did we go out and bring home a sack or two late on a Saturday night?

They have to be the most addictive of all fast food.  Perhaps it has something to do with the five holes cut into each one.  My Uncle Ron would always say “Gonna get me a job at White Castle because somebody has to drill those little holes.”

This week we told Doug that if he wanted to have the greasy little hamburgers in Arizona, he could buy them frozen at a local supermarket.  He said he tried a box of frozen ones once, but could not enjoy the unique legendary taste of White Castles in Arizona.

White Castle hamburgers are grilled over a bed of onions, which produces a sandwich that is moist and excellent.  Perhaps the only thing that has changed about White Castles over the years is the cost.  Doug can remember when each hamburger cost only twenty five cents.  Yes, he is a tad older than me!

Before he left, I had a chance to ask him.  “Tell me, what you will want next time you drive through Greenwood?” 

“I’ll probably have to pick up another sack full of White Castles.” 

His answer explains why White Castles will always be an American favorite.



Morels Everywhere !


‘Tis the season that native Hoosiers go mushroom hunting. 

I have been waiting on the morel mushrooms to come up.  I did see two or three black morels as the hubby and I took a stroll so I knew it wouldn’t be long before the gray and yellow ones popped up.

Why is it that some people know exactly where to look for mushrooms?  As a rule, people do not give out the locations as to where the best “find” of mushrooms are, but I’ve heard of more than one person headed east out of Greenwood and returned with mushrooms for their evening meal.

One problem is, one can never be sure where to look.  Mushrooms pop up when ever and where ever they see fit.  The same site that produces hundreds of morels one year might yield nothing the next.  So, the hunt continues.  It is fun just to go out and look for them.  They are only there for a very limited season.  If you could do it any day, all year-long, it wouldn’t be as fun.

My sister stopped by yesterday.  She had found enough mushrooms to fill a tote bag.  We agree, she finds them and I will clean and fry them up.  Finding mushrooms for my sister comes easy.  She once said that it was clear to her that since mushroom season lasts only a few short weeks that the Good Lord intended people to spend twice as much time hunting mushrooms as they do mowing the lawn.

I once tried to go mushroom hunting with her.   Although we were walking the same land, she found seventeen to my three.  Some people simply have a knack for finding mushrooms. Others stay at home and eat them.  A fried mushroom is an acquired taste.  You either like them or you don’t.

The mushrooms should last one or two more weeks, depending on the weather.  If you see my sister with a collapsed bag in hand perhaps you could talk her out of a few.  She always finds plenty.