Tag: Memory Lane

Drive-in movie theaters are a summertime must !

speakers

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.

flo

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

School Daze ! !

School has started.  There are some parents out there who are still doing a little dance.  Not my sister.  Her son started first grade Monday and neither mother nor aunt is handling it very well.

I am sure that in time he will recover from the embarrassment and shock  caused by his mother holding on to the back bumper of the school bus screaming, “Don’t take my baby!”

On his first day, I took off from the newspaper long enough to see him off to school.    When I arrived he was in line at the bus stop.   Along with his mother, I had hopes of taking him to school.  Neither of us got to take him, which didn’t bother him at all but nearly killed us.

Since neither of us actually got to take him, we hurried down to the school just to watch.  We wanted to see him.  We parked across from the school, watched him get off the bus, and go into the building.

Both his mother and I were able to walk into his first grade room.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  In kindergarten last year, he sat at a big table with the other students.  He looks so tiny now behind the big desk of his own.

I saw my sisters knees get weak and the room must have gotten fuzzy when she saw him sit down at his own desk.  He looked so much older and more mature than the little guy she laid out clothes for that morning.

He immediately started talking to old friends he hadn’t seen all summer.  My sister stood there a little dazed.  Her son did not even know she was in the room.  Odds are she wanted to go over and hug him.  I myself wanted to go comb his hair once again. 

But instead, she walked over to him and whispered something like “Mommy has to go.”  His response must have come as a blow, “Yeah, sure.  Bye.”

She pulled herself together and  walked in front of me out the door.   I gave her a hug in the hallway.  I thought she could use a little encouragement.

I stopped by their house on my way home from work.  I wanted to be there when he got off the bus in the afternoon.  We stayed on the porch when he got off the bus. I will admit that I had my camera. I didn’t care if it embarrassed him or not.  When he is married with children of his own, he might appreciate the picture.  I jumped off the porch and snapped a quick photo.

He spotted me, ran up the walk and gave me a hug.  Life is good in Indiana.   

 

“Come As You Are!”

My niece was planning her birthday party and wanted it just a tad different from others she had attended.  I mentioned she should have a “Come As You Are” party.  The confused look on her face said it all  —  it showed my age.

 “Come As You Are”   parties were fun.   It would happen in the morning  or     afternoon when you least  expected it.      A quick telephone call and   the  person asked you to the party  –  right then —   just as you were.                  It was  too late  to change clothes. 

We would listen to records, dance, and eat munchies – somehow we always ended up calling boys on the telephone.

One afternoon I was wearing a white shirt that had long since been discarded by my older sister, white levis that were deeply cuffed, complete with tomato stains on the left knee.  But any embarrassment at the party left when my friend Dianna showed up with her hair wrapped in a towel and wearing a pair of her brothers’ basketball shorts.

It was always fun to see what Jill would be wearing.  She was always fussy about looking her best at school.  She always looked perfect.   Some how she never came to a single party with odd-looking clothes.   One party she did arrive with her hair in hair rollers.  I wish I had taken a picture.                 

              I was still reminiscing about the parties I had attended when  I looked   at my niece.    She asked with a  rocking  mocking  supercilious  air,           “Why would I want a “Come As You Are’ party?”

I still wish I had taken a few photographs.