My meme assignment? Share childhood memories of bygone pastimes (that our students don’t have the opportunity to experience).
1. Halloween Trick-or-Treating
Yes, I know that this tradition still exists, but because of the world-gone-crazy, my daughters didn’t get to experience the full-blown trick-or-treating that my brothers, friends, and I did. Halloween costumes were much simpler then; I often came home from school and pulled together a “hobo” outfit: flannel shirt, a bandana on the end of a long stick, and charcoal smudges on my face. My friends and I would meet just before dark and revel in the absence of adults as we went door-to-door in our neighborhood for hours. We knew the houses that had the “best” treats – for me it was chocolate bars. If time were running out on us (we did have curfews), we would only hit those good houses as we tried to load up on the goodies. On cold Halloween nights, we made sure to visit the house several streets over from mine where you were invited inside and given a cup of hot chocolate.
2. “The Wizard of Oz”
Long before the days of VCRs and even remote controls, I looked forward to one night a year when my absolute favorite movie would be aired. We couldn’t own it, or record it, or even pause it as we were watching - we watched when the television station decided to air the movie. As a young child, my bedtime was 8:00, so getting to stay up past that hour to watch television made the whole experience even more delicious. On the one night a year that “The Wizard of Oz” was on, my brothers and I would bathe early and sit in front of the tv in our pj’s, transfixed by Dorothy and Toto’s magical journey from Kansas to Oz. Unfortunately this experience cannot be replicated in today’s “gotta have it NOW” society. Even if a show is only aired once a year (think “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”), we can own it on DVD or record it to watch at our leisure, which robs us of the anticipation that kids of yesteryear experienced.
3. Dragging Main Street
On Friday and Saturday nights (and sometimes Sunday afternoons), my teenaged friends and I would pile in one car and head to THE teenage destination: Main Street in downtown Greenville. Dragging Main Street was an inexpensive way to pass the time (you could ride forever on $5.00 worth of gas), see friends, and make new friends of the opposite sex. The normal circuit began at the Daniel Building on one end of downtown and ended at the street right past Belk department store. Rather than drive the route, some people would park on the side of the street and watch the cars make the circuit. For hours on end, teens rode up and down the street. When you and your friends saw some guys you wanted to meet in another car, you would look for that car each time around the circuit, hoping to talk with them and set up a place off of the main drag to meet.
My daughters have told me that teens still drag certain areas on the weekends, but no longer is Main Street in Greenville their destination; dragging was “outlawed” due to the traffic congestion and rowdy nature of some of those dragging. There was something magical about that street; there were enough red lights to insure that you had to stop often and plenty of off streets to meet up.
I actually met my husband of 31 years there for the first time since we attended rival high schools; when we met up with him and his friends, I ended up dating one of his friends. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that we began dating; but if it weren’t for dragging Main Street, who knows if we would have ever met?