One of the classes I teach is on Tuesday afternoon and it is called Women’s Legacy. This wonderful story came about as a result of the class. Thank you Rochelle for sharing with us!
Saturday nights in the summer were special. When dusk cloaked the sky, we piled into my parents tan Chevrolet, and cruised down Fredericksburg road, a busy thoroughfare dotted with taco shops (not Del Taco) but real tacos with home made shells deep fried in grease, filled with pulled beef spiced with chili and cumin and crisp lettuce and ruby red tomatoes. We breezed past Chinese eateries with exotic names, auto repair shops tattered beauty salons and lonely insurance agencies, their small neon signs g lowing in the dusk.
What was our destination? The drive-in movie with its promise of larger
than life stars emoting under star filled skies.
After my Dad paid, so much per car load, not $10.00 a ticket, probably $2.00 for four
of us, he found a good spot , in the middle, not too close and not too far from the screen. He placed a small(about 5/7) sound
transmitter to the front window so we could hear the dialogue and the music.
If we wanted a little fun and exercise, swing sets awaited. The parents could supervise, sitting on
wood slated chairs on a grassy green postage stamp playground.
But , more importantly, we had to go to the concession stand . We bought huge
bags of just popped corn with the promise of endless crunchy bites, dripping
with hot melted butter. No $7.00 bags of popped air,, probably more like 50 cents a bag to feed
the four of us. We each selected a candy bar…….my sister and I loved Mars bars…robed in dark chocolate
with a crunchy almond on each small twin bar. Or we chose a caramel smooth Milky Way blanketed with
milk chocolate. I don’t remember exactly what we drank, but I am sure it wasn’t diet coke, probably
My sister and I jostled for space in the back seat but soon settled, down staring wondrously at the 40 foot screen, jutting up into the sky .
Velvet darkness spread.
The screen lit up with a riot of color and exploded cacophony of music and sound. The stars filled the screen and stars filled the sky with mysterious and playful winks. We were entranced by the actors on the screen, the ever graceful Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,
the aquatic prowess of Esther Williams, the laugher evoked by Red Skeleton, the heightening sense of adventure as the Lone
Ranger, with Tonto at his side, subdued the bad guys, white Stetson placed firmly on his head , his boots squarely in his stirrups, riding proudly into the west. We giggled at Abbott and Costello with “who’s on first and what’s on second” and grinned gleefully at the antics of the Marx brothers. When It was time to go home, we were sleepy but filled with memories of the make believe world we visited on a warm summer night deep in the heart of Texas.
Yes, that was a happy time, drenched in the sweetness of innocence, coddled in the safety of our little family circle and
enchanted by movies that showed us a different, exciting and adventurous world, seen from the secure confines
of our 1942 Chevrolet.
March 3, 2014