Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Longer Days - Drive in Movies

Posted to OGR on 06/13/2010

I have always enjoyed the month of June. In my youth, it meant freedom from the classroom and getting used to that summer job. But once 5 PM rolls by, the days were mine. No homework, no obligations, and time to get outside and enjoy the end of the day because of the longer days. Much of that time was spent on the sandlot baseball field with my friends in a pickup game. Being a long lanky kid, I usually wound up in the outfield because I could cover a larger area. That gave me the opportunity to be involved and a little detached at the same time. I remember looking across the green field, streaked with patches of golden late afternoon sunlight, at the batter far away. It was a beautiful sight! Play Ball!

On special evenings, I went out on dates to parties or to the local drive in theater for the double feature. I remember parking on the little hill in each row between the silver poles with little silver speakers in cradles, hooking the speaker on the car window and listening to the songs they played before the previews. There was something special about seeing the late afternoon sun glint off the eyes of a pretty girl, or brighten her hair as she sat next to me on the seat. There is nothing like the smiling face of a teen aged girl blossoming into young womanhood. We talked and laughed and flirted while munching on pop corn and drinking sodas. As the movie started, so did the hand holding, and the anticipation of the kiss that would be coming later. Oh MY! Yes, on double dates, it was better in the back seat!

Later in my life, when I was a DJ at a top 40 radio station, I had a chance to record those programs for use in the drive in theaters. There were two of them, first was the “pre movie” show which lasted 30 minutes, then there was a 15 minute intermission between the two movies of the double feature. I usually made the first one more up-tempo and the second one a little more down tempo and romantic. Of course as part of my compensation package, I had free passes to the theater any time I wanted to go. It was fun going to the movie and watching the next generation of kids on dates in cars intermingled with cars containing young families, all listening to my music. I was taking it easy, enjoying the evening with my audience and loving life in general!

Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley

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