I was just over visiting Margie and Edna's Basement (ran into a few cobwebs too; you gals need to dust!) and they were reminiscing about drive-ins. It got me thinking about when I was growing up and we would go to the Sunset Drive-In on the Israel Road in Tumwater, Washington in the 1950's. The drive-in was built in 1949, and was demolished many years ago, but my memories make it seem like it was yesterday.
There were only two drive-ins to go to in the Olympia-Tumwater-Lacey area as I remember. The Sunset, and the other one was the Lacey Drive-In. I think there was/is one up near Shelton too, but we didn't go that far because it was "out of town". (Yeah, this is when gas was 30 cents a gallon, but the wages were commensurate.)
Friday night was usually when we went to the drive in with my parents. Dad would come home from a hard day doing carpentry, and he would eat a little something and then we would wait for sundown to come so we could head off in the old DeSoto. Dad probably caught a snooze in his chair while we waited, and I wouldn't be too surprised if I wasn't whiling away the time waiting in the backseat of the car.
My favorite before-drive-in meal was Campbell's alphabet soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Nowadays, I would need the LARGE TYPE alphabet soup!
Here in Washington, because of our northern latitude, in summer it might be close to 10 PM before the sun was sufficiently set enough that we could see the screen. Not to worry though, we would get to the drive in about 9 PM so we could get a good parking spot not too far from the
restrooms snack bar, and close enough so we could play on the playground equipment until the cartoons started to run. When we got that cue, we'd make a mad dash back to our respective cars and settle in for the main attraction.
I don't know if anyone else had this at their drive-ins, but we had what was called "hot toddies" at ours. My mom would always get me one and it was always way too hot to drink at first. It wasn't your alcoholic type hot toddy though. This was a hot chocolate version and they came in a little metal can. The snack bar would have them in a hot water bath, hence the reason they were so hot. I don't know who made them, but they sure were good for one thing: I don't think I ever saw any of the movies my parent's watched because I was asleep and woke up the next day in my own bed!
Time marches on....
The fifties passed by pretty quickly it seems, and by the mid-1960's I was going to the drive in with my girlfriends, or the occasional boy with raging hormones. The fragrance of Jade East, Old Spice or English Leather was intoxicatingly lethal in large doses at close quarters. We learned who the "good kissers" were, and practiced our craft with wild abandon. Not to say I was a naughty girl, but only through the grace of God and someone watching over me did I escape unscathed.
My first date with my husband was a blind date re-do with an Air Force guy (the first guy my girlfriend set me up with had green teeth, I kid you not!) so I gave it one more try and went out with this guy as a pity date. I was told he was 'harmless'. Heck, he wasn't harmless, he was inept! His social graces were such that he threw whole handfuls of popcorn in his mouth at once, slurped his Coke like a dehydrated elephant, and then proceeded to chew on his ice. I pretended to fall asleep, sans any hot toddy or anything else. That was in 1970 and the movie was M*A*S*H. Obviously, we had a second date, and a third, and well, by September we were married and on our way to Germany.