Posted tagged ‘drive-in movie’

“Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.”

July 17, 2017

I turned off the air conditioner just to refresh the house, but that’s not going to happen. The air is thick with humidity, and there is no breeze to stir it. There are clouds where there is supposed to be sun. It will be 77˚ at the highest and in the mid-60’s tonight.

Movie night was fun, and the appetizers were delicious. We noshed on a feta dip with pita chips, cold cuts in baguettes, delicious cheeses and honeyed figs. Gunga Din was as wonderful an old movie as I remembered. It was one of those movies with a cast of thousands. The night was humid and hot but cooled down as we watched. I have neighbors on one side and renters on the other. I always wonder if they’re a bit jealous of us watching movies outside in the summer, such a wonderful way to spend a warm evening.

Summer had its own set of rules when I was a kid. The street lights no longer controlled our play time. We stayed out after dark. Bedtime was when we went to bed. Meals were usually catch as catch can except for supper which my mother cooked for all of us.  Mostly it was cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We’d make our own. Bologna with hot peppers was my favorite sandwich. The peppers were round so I had to cut them, but they were still thick. The bologna came in a roll so I had to cut slices which were never even; they were thin on one side and thick on the other. My sandwiches were messy. White bread was just too soft and easily prone to holes. For dessert we’d grab Oreos, but they quick to disappear. The week days were ours to do as we wanted. My mother would ask where we were going, but most times we didn’t know. Riding our bikes or going to the playground were our usual answers. At least one weekend day was family day when we were stuck together in the hot car going to the beach on Sunday or to a drive-in movie theater Saturday night.

As we got older, we spent less and less time with the family and more time with our friends. I had drill two nights a week and competitions on the weekends. I slept late every day. My bicycle stayed in the cellar. My friends picked me up with their cars. Sometimes we did nothing but ride around. Other times we hung at one house or another just talking and laughing. That was pretty much the end of family time, but it reappeared when I was older, living away and teaching. I’d spend a weekend at my parents’ house. I even remember the three of us going to a drive-in together. The movie was A New Leaf with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. We laughed a lot. I had a wonderful evening with my parents.

“In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible source of perpetual delight.”

April 21, 2016

Lately Mother Nature has seen fit to give us sunny, beautiful days. The problem, though, is they are still on the cold side, mostly in the low 50’s and down to the 40’s at night. Today, hooray, will be in the high 50’s and may even reach 60˚.

My back surgeon told me never to lift anything heavier than a phone book. I got to wondering how much longer he can use phone book as a measurement. Actual weight wouldn’t help as most people, including me, have no idea what something weighs. Don’t lift anything bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas roast?

The two families down the street, each with 4 kids, are away for the vacation. One family went to Disneyland while the other flew to either South or North Carolina. It got me to thinking about our family vacations. Most times we stayed home. Once we went to Niagara Falls. I have no idea how my parents could have afforded that with staying in motels, feeding 4 kids and paying for attractions. I remember every bit of that vacation, including eating lots of McDonald’s for lunch. The hamburgers were 25 cents by then. The walk around the falls wearing those yellow slickers was the highlight of the trip for me. The roaring sound of the rushing water all around me was so loud and so thrilling I could feel the sound in every part of my body. It was like I was part of the falls, part of the cascading  water. It is something I haven’t ever forgotten.

I don’t remember caring that we stayed home. Most of my friends did too. We’d do day trips and go to the beach or to a lake that had a slide into the water. We went to the drive-in. I still have a fondness for drive-ins even though I haven’t been to one in years. The Cape has one but I haven’t be able to interest anyone in going with me. I even volunteered the food but still no takers.

When I was a kid, we couldn’t eat meat on Fridays so my mother served all sorts of stuff like fried dough, English muffin pizzas and fish sticks. That was the only way we were ever served fish. I liked fish sticks but I was young, what did I know? Tonight my friends and I going to Captain Frosty’s for dinner. It is another tradition my friends and I have: we go together the first time for the season. It is mostly a seafood restaurant though they do have hamburgers and hot dogs. I’m thinking maybe scallops or clams. Here the clams have bellies the way they should. The fries are crisp. Each plate gets a small clam ball, a lagniappe. I’m already hungry just thinking about dinner.

I need to fill the feeders today and maybe sit on the deck in the sun to finish my book. I doubt there are many better ways to spend a day.

“He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.”

July 14, 2015

When I woke up, there was sun. Now the day is darkening and getting breezy, hints of the rain predicted for the afternoon. My room is dark as I haven’t lit any lamps. I like my house in the unexpected darkness of a soon to be rainy day. For reasons I can’t explain the house is comforting in the darkness and in the quiet. I don’t even hear birds singing. The only sounds come from the rustling of the leaves on the trees hanging over the deck.

I haven’t been to a drive-in movie for years. Wellfleet still has one, but I can’t seem to interest anyone in going. I even promised to do the snacks but had no takers. We were frequent drive-in movie goers when I was a kid. My grandfather had a pass to every E.M.Lowe’s theater including the drive-in, and we used that pass often. Just like every other kid at the drive-in I was wearing my pajamas and my sneakers, no slippers in case I needed to walk to the bathroom. At intermission the playground was filled with kids dressed for bed in their pajamas and robes. The first movie was always one for kids, sometimes a Disney or a dog movie like Lassie. After intermission came the movie for adults. Kids presumably had fallen asleep. The adult movies were seldom recent releases but were a year or two old and would probably be PG-13 rated today. Sometimes I’d see a bit of that movie before I fell asleep, but by the time I was 11 or 12, I’d watch all of it, well most of it anyway as we always left before the end. My father was not one to wait in traffic so we’d get a head start and be the only car leaving so early.

We never bought anything from the concession stand as most things were too expensive. I’d sometimes check out the food and sometimes really want a hot dog, but I knew not to ask. We had plenty of snacks in the car. My favorite was the popcorn. My mother was never shy with the butter. We each had a nickel bar of candy bought at the corner store on our way to the movie. The jug was always filled with something to drink, but my father got annoyed if we wanted some too often as he was the pourer who felt abused by constant asking.

My family didn’t have much money when I was growing up, but I never knew that. We did neat things and the drive-in was always one of my favorites.

“He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.”

July 30, 2013

If I were Mother Nature, today would be among my finest creations. The sun is brilliant, the sky a dark blue, a slight breeze rustles the leaves and the air is clear and comfortable. Earlier, I was on the deck reading my papers and it took such a long time. I kept stopping to watch the birds at the feeders and Gracie run through the yard with her deflated basketball in her mouth. She looked joyful. almost prancing, playing in the coolness of the morning. She came on the deck and sat down beside me. I read the papers and absent-mindedly patted Gracie the whole time.

Gracie and I are going to the dump later. The trash is out by the car waiting to be loaded. Poor Gracie hasn’t been riding much as it has been too hot for her to be left while I did errands, but I always take her with me to the dump.

Wellfleet still has a drive-in movie theater. Dennis used to, but it was demolished years ago. That was my favorite of all the drive-ins. It was small and it was surrounded by trees. It was like being in your own backyard. Bugs were plentiful, but you loaded up on mosquito spray before you went so they pretty much left you alone. We used to pack a picnic basket, a tradition my father started. When I was a kid, we brought our own snacks to the drive-in as the ones in the refreshment stand were so expensive. Our adult picnic basket was a bit more elaborate. We filled thermos bottles with drinks, alcoholic drinks, and had crackers and cheese and fancy hors d’oeuvres. We’d put out our lawn chairs and sit by the speaker. We always used glasses, never plastic, and real forks and knives; however, I do admit we used paper napkins.

I thought it was a tragedy when they closed that drive-in, but land had become more valuable than a screen, speakers and some parking spots; however, most of that land remains untouched. Some of it became part of a vegetable farm, but that’s gone too. Only the shed where they sold their produce is still there but it is falling apart, a victim of the weather. Most people don’t know that behind a section of trees on a pretty well-traveled road is an open spot which used to be the drive-in. I think of it every time I go by those trees and I sigh a bit for what’s now gone.