Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Memories of the Open Air/ Drive-in Movies

Subject: Memories of the Open Air/ Drive-in Movies

Oh, you missed out on a lot if you never had the fun of going to a "Drive-in" outdoor Movie. We often went to the outdoor movies. There were four of them in the three towns near where I grew up. It was a popular place for a date to take you, but the place was mostly filled with cars full of parents with their kids with them. We did have 4 indoor movie places that we went to a lot. But the outdoor ones became popular when I was in High School. It was great after marriage when we had kids. No need for a baby sitter as you just piled the kids in the car and took them with you. Teenage kids loved having a blanket to sit or lay on (while watching the movie) You would place the blanket on the ground in front of your car where it was safe. Speakers were so loud from some of the cars with their windows open that you didn`t have to sit near one to hear. Little ones usually fell asleep in the back seat shortly after the movies started. On a hot summer evening it was more comfortable sitting in the cars with the windows open instead of staying home in the hot houses.

Of course they closed the "Open Airs" up thru the winters. Everyone would watch to see what date they were re-opening in the spring.The places were always packed. They had refreshment stands where you could buy popcorn, hotdogs, sodas, candy etc.. There was two movies every night and a stop in the middle where people headed for the refreshment stand or the bathrooms a little ways from the food building. Many people brought their drinks and refreshments with them from home because it was cheaper.

They had small speakers you hooked onto your car window to hear what was being said while you watched the picture on the huge screen. The speakers had a knob so you could turn the volume higher or lower. The screen was so large and high off the ground that you could see it well from anyplace in the large parking area. There were many rows of cars with many cars in each row. Each row was on a little higher ground than the row in front of it to allow you to see the screen over the cars in front of you.

We didn`t have to wonder if the movie was rated or not as all movies were the type you could take even the youngest child to. I often wonder if there might be less violence in the world today if the movies and TV never started showing such violent movies to teach our kids a more vicious way to handle their problems. I remember when they stopped all Western movies with cowboys and Indians as they felt they were teaching our children too much violence. Wasn`t long after this when they started showing a lot of Police and war movies. The biggest difference was that in the cowboy movies, the bad guy was always caught and punished, teaching the kids that if you do wrong you will expect to be caught and punished. In lots of the police types, the violence is so much more expressed and seems like they are always teaching kids sneaky ways to hide what you are doing wrong. Sometimes it seems like the good get killed while the bad get rich. What are young kids learning from them? Are they learning what mistakes the bad ones made so they won`t make the same mistakes? Is it making some think they are smarter and wouldn`t make the mistake that caused the other bad ones to get caught? Does it make some think they could do the same thing and never get caught? Are they teaching them more ways to hurt others? Isn`t all this just making it harder for parents to teach their kids right from wrong? Kids are very impressive and many believe everything they see and hear. When they become teens many are more interested in copying their friends than listening to their parents. Some kids feel as long as they don`t take part in doing wrong then they can`t be dragged into any trouble their friends get into. Parents have their work cut out for them just making their kids realize that sometimes you don`t have to do wrong, all you have to do is be there when a friend does wrong and you can become a part of it as far as the law is concerned and charged right along with the friend. Sometimes you felt you needed eyes in the back of your head to keep on top of things. OH, It was so much easier when my kids were young as all parents acted like every kids parent. If they saw your child doing something that could get them into trouble, they would phone and tell you, and they knew you would look out for their kids the same way.
We didn`t worry about our kids and their friends calling us snitches for telling. We were more concerned on raising our kids and keeping them out of law trouble. We never wanted to be considered their friend, we wanted to be exactly what we were-- Their parents. If they got mad at us, too bad, as long as we made sure they knew how much we loved them, they soon got over it.

Back to the Open-Air Movies. Some called them "Open -Air", while others were called "Drive-Ins", but they were both the same places. Years later one of the Drive -in Movies added on a second parking area and a second screen so they could start showing more than one movie at a time. Then you had a choice of which movie you wanted to see. Wasn`t long after they added the second screen, that they started showing the more adult type movies. But, they still kept one of the two places for showing just Movies you could take your kids to. The adult one would not allow any minor children to be brought in.

Today there is just one place to see the movies in my area and that one is located in the mall. So much more comfortable relaxing in your own car -over sitting up straight in today's movie seats. Even the older indoor places were much better than today's are. We stopped going when they closed up the outdoor "Open Air Movie" places. It cost the same for every car no matter how many kids you had. Would cost a fortune today to take an entire family to the movies at the Malls. I was really disappointed when they closed them all up. I went to the Mall movie just once and didn`t enjoy it that much.

I wish everyone had gotten a chance to go to the Open Air movies. Just thinking about it brought back lots of happy memories. Car front seats were all one long section, no two bucket seats like most cars today. So easy to sit together with your head on his shoulder. You could laugh out loud at the funny parts-- didn`t need to be quiet like in the inside movies. Could joke and laugh with others in the car with no one complaining or saying quiet I can`t hear. I even saw some teens laying on top of their cars to see the movies. Some trucks would show up with lots of kids, no one cares. The only rule that sometimes had to be carried out was if some brought beer with them and got loud mouthed and were asked to leave. Alcohol wasn`t allowed there, but I saw many who brought some and as long as they caused no problems, no one cared. Those were the good old days.

Thanks for the memories is how I feel after remembering some of these happier times so long ago.
Hugs to all my Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren and any other relatives who might be reading this some day. I love you all .


Sunday, April 08, 2007


Easter today and in the Past.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007


Snow on the lilacs !!!!. April 5, 2007

The snow on the lilacs looks like someone went out and hung some large cotton balls all over it. One picture was taken thru the- well it used to be the dining room window when the kids were all home. But, now it has been turned into my horse Collection room. The black in the bottom of the picture is just some flower pots and other items. I removed them, re-took the picture and for some reason it didn`t up-load off my camera.
The second picture was taken thru the kitchen window and shows another side of the lilacs and part of it was a little protected by the shop building- the white building on the right in the other picture.

Mother nature sure can make things look so pretty. Last year I was able to take a beautiful picture when the Lilacs were completely covered with ice and it also was very pretty to look at. Mother nature gave us more snow and icy roads to cope with, but she made up for it by giving us some pretty scenery.



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Monday, April 02, 2007


Picture puzzle finally finished.

Picture puzzle completed. This is titled "Barn on Mormon Row, Teton Mountain Range, Grand Teton National Park, WY. The redish at the top of the puzzle is not part of the puzzle. One very hard puzzle. Glad it is finally finished and glued to a cardboard backing. The wood slats on the bottom is one of the small closeable tables I made. I sat it on the table to take the picture.

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Thinking of Walt on our twins Birthday, April 2nd, 2007

Today my twins turned 52 years old. The 4th birthday without their Dad. I called one son early this morning because he works the night shift at the school. Just finished calling the other son as he works days for the town. Time sure flies. Where did all those years go. When I called the last son, he got talking about his Dad. Having lost my Dad in 1975, I know how they feel.

Woke up this morning feeling like I was in a fog and had no reason for feeling that way.
Knew I had to get over it if I planned on heading to the Bank. But, if I didn`t head to the bank, then my checks wouldn`t get cashed. These small pension checks that my husband had were what I live on all month- for groceries and other odds and ends. Yes, the SS check goes straight into the bank to pay bills. Origionally Walt had these pensions set up so he got 100 percent, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered he had changed it just before his mill shut down, giving him just 50 percent and leaving the other 50 percent for me to receive if I should outlive him. I knew he cared, but never knew he changed it till the pension check started coming in my name with the same amount. What a guy, always thinking ahead - thinking of what's best for me.
Wonder if he wished he hadn`t after the Mill closed up and he was 1 1/2 years away from retiring and drawing SS. Didn`t take long to draw out all of our savings to live on. Our youngest daughter graduated just 3 weeks after his Mill closed. Who ever expects a mill to close so quickly. But, it was sold twice and they kept all the regular workers. It started out as a wallpaper co.. Then it was sold to a co. that made paint. The last new owners mostly made car paint. All these chemicals were probably what caused his lung disease. Breathing them daily for years and years- almost 40 years working with chemicals this way.

I remember one time when he went with me to take our youngest daughter to the Hospital to have her first baby. When I was expecting in the older days, the father wasn`t allowed to stay with you. Times sure have changed. Maybe that is why most families are smaller today. Now the Dad gets to see what his wife goes thru, so he understands it isn`t one big picnic to have a child.
Well, to get back to that time, Walt left me there and I spent the night with our daughter and he went home to go to work the next morning. Being his youngest daughter- his little baby girl who he kept forgetting was more grown up now, he was worried more than before. I guess it must be harder for a Dad to give up his last daughter. He likes keeping her as his little girl. Well, when the baby was born, I called his mill to let him know. When his Boss answered in the part of the plant where he worked, all he said to me was "Thank God, now maybe he can get some work done." I had to ask him what he was talking about. I was told that Walt had dumped a whole large tray of paint all over himself. The Boss told me Walt was a wreck, worrying if his daughter was ok. The baby`s own father had no interest in becoming a father. Think that made him worry even more, knowing she was alone without us. The Boss put Walt on the phone and I could here the relief in his voice when I told him both mom and baby are doing fine. That's when it hit me that this was the first time he had seen someone going thru that much pain , since he was made to wait in the waiting room while I was going thru the pain for our first one, and after that first time, he was there to watch as they wheeled me onto the elevator heading for the op room. No wonder he was so scared. He never knew how much pain was involved.

I still remember how he looked in his work uniform and hard hat. I thought he looked cute, even when sometimes the uniform was too big and made him look like a little skinny guy. At his funeral, one of his co-workers told me that in all the years Walt had worked at that plant, he never had anyone he didn`t get along with.

I remember how he often spent his lunch time playing cards with the other fellows. If I remember right, they played the card game "Hearts". They played for money, but never allowed it too get out of hand as most all the fellows had families to support at home. I had never played Hearts until I started playing on the net with a friend from Texas. We only played for a short time and I was never real good at it. I did good enough for us to win a lot, but I know it was because she was such a good player. that was years ago and today I would probably need to learn all over again.

We used to play cards at my Mothers for years- Canasta and other such games. But when my Mother got into her 80`s, she decided it was easier for her to play "Crazy Eights". I remember one New Years Eve when she kept us playing all night long. Every time we mentioned leaving, my Mother would look at Walt and say " You can play one more game before you leave, can`t you Walt? He never had the heart to say he was too tired and we needed to go home. It was 5am in the morning when my mother looked up at us and said, Dot, you and Walt look tired. Why don`t you go upstairs and get some sleep. We were so tired that we fell asleep as soon as we hit the pillows. Back in the same old bed I slept in with my older sister when we were kids. I don`t think my mother ever did go to bed, not unless she took a nap the next afternoon after we left for home. Here she was in her 80`s and able to stay awake easier then us younger ones. She was on a Bowling Team and winning Trophies in her 80`s. When she hit 90, she was still playing crazy Eights. Only difference was she would nod off every little while and the rest of us would talk in whispers and wait for her to wake up and take her turn.

Well, after taking my shower this morning, I did wake up enough to go to the bank. So, that job is over for another month. I got the car out of the garage early before I let my dog out as she likes to follow me and makes it harder for me to back out while worrying where she is. For years, I only had about 1/2 inch to spare on each side of the mirrors, so backing out was a pain. To make it worse, the building isn`t straight in line with the driveway. Would have built it lined up better if we had known someday it would become our garage. But it was originally a Bike Shop for many years and later became a Grocery Store for about 9 years before he decided he wanted the bike shop back for another 7 or 8 years. After all these years, last Fall I finally took my trusty little wen saw and curved an inward slope on the 2x4 door framework on each door where the car mirrors lined up to give me a little more room to spare. I`m surprised no one ever hit my mirrors and broke them off on me since others sometimes drove my car. Little easier backing out now. Don`t know why I didn`t think to do that years ago. Well, as soon as I got the car out this morning and went in the house to let the dog out, it started raining. I decided to wait a while and once it stopped raining I headed off to the bank. The rain held off until after I was back home and had the car back in the garage. Now, that`s what you call lucky. Someone was looking out for me I think.
Wanted to go today as expecting more rain tomorrow which might turn to snow Thursday and Friday. It was a bit foggy this morning, but driving wasn`t bad. The sky looks awful gray tonight, so probably will get even foggier tonight.

WOW, just had a lot of the fireman's cars, plus the ambulance heading up the road past the corner of my road. I put on my scanner to see what happened. Someone has sheered off a telephone pole on the corner of Central and Rhode Island Ave. That is just a few streets from my street. Haven`t heard yet if anyone was hurt. I hope not. They say the very bottom of the pole is still in the ground, but the top larger section is hanging with the wires. They are sending a flatbed to pick up the car, so it has to be in rough shape. Leaves more fear about the occupant or occupants that were in that car. A bit scary, even more so since I have lived in this area since 1955 and thru the Bike Shop, the Grocery Store and the Cub and Boy Scouts that Walt and I handled for over 15 years, we know many who live in this area. I also have 2 of my daughters and 2 of my sons and their families living near by, plus a couple of Walt`s nieces and nephews also live above me. One of my daughters had a car totaled on the corner next to this corner when a car never stopped for the stop sign. The car belonged to the car place where she used to work. Luckily she was giving her boss a ride to work that morning so he knew it wasn`t her fault. I heard there were more accidents because people aren`t stopping for the stop signs. Haven`t heard the Ambulance heading for the hosp yet and should be able to still hear the siren even if they use the other main road. That is even more scary. Think I will call ,my daughter and see if she has heard anything since she lives just above that corner on the next road. She isn`t home, she`s off to her daughters. Both the ambulance and the fire truck just went back by our corner heading for the Firebarns. Hope that means no one was seriously hurt.

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