Drive-in Memories

I was born in 1951, several years before our family had a television set and well before TV became the centerpiece of family life it now is.

Entertainment diversions included visiting with family and friends, reading, board and card games, church and civic activities, radio, and movies at the local theater or drive-in. By the mid-1950s my parents had three young children and, since they lived some distance from relatives and didn’t have much in the way of disposable income, their entertainment options were even more limited.

This might have happened only once or twice during my preschool years, but I do have trace memories of our parents stopping at the local A&W root beer stand before a movie at the nearby drive-in theater. Back then, A&W offered “baby” (child-size) root beers, served in tiny one-handled mugs. Discounting the foam at the top of the mug, the drink was probably less than two ounces, but its icy cold creaminess was a real treat in the heat of a (pre air-conditioned) North Dakota summer.

I was fascinated by the carhops. They delivered our order on a tray that was attached to the driver-side window. From there, Dad passed the baby drinks to each of us kids, telling us to be careful not to spill.

When our refreshments were finished, Dad would drive the short distance to the drive-in movie. I honestly don’t remember anything after Dad attached the speaker to the car, so my siblings and I were probably asleep well before the on-offer movie started—which I’m guessing was Mom and Dad’s plan all along. I hope they enjoyed the movie. As for me, I can still taste that root beer!

This, then, is my summer-lovin’ memory, shared for this month’s Storytelling Sunday. Click here for Sian’s own story and for links to other interesting and entertaining reads. And, of course, you are welcome to add your own story to the link party.

12 thoughts on “Drive-in Memories

  1. Wow, this brings back my own childhood drive-in memories. It was my job to clean the car windows beforehand with water and vinegar, wiping them with newspapers. Like Brenda, we always took a brown paper bag of home-popped corn. And like Wanda, usually slept through most of the movie and had to be carried into the house afterward. Good times!

  2. I’ve always envied the 9to me) very American idea of ‘car hops’ and ‘drive-in-movie theaters’…I was right there with you Wanda!
    Alison xx

  3. I love rootbeer and as I’m a Brit my family and I were appauled when they stopped serving it at McDonalds over here. I bet you loved having your own little baby mug!

  4. Oh, my! What great memories this post evoked for me. I definitely remember those baby root beers and the wonderful treat of eating in the car. And going to the drive-in, in our PJ’s, with brown paper bags of home-popped popcorn, filling the air with that scent that said “movie-time”.

  5. What a beautifully evocative story Wanda! Stunning in its details and appeal to the senses.So lovingly drawn for us that it might just persuade me to give root beer another try in fact lol

    Thank you for adding such a lovely memory to our collection today

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