Tuesday, July 3, 2012


     In the mid-1960s, the drive-in was still very much a part of the American scene. My friends and I scorned them, as we did many manifestations of American mass culture. We didn't have anything to drive anyway, until two of us bought a Lambretta in 1964. I understand that today people show up at the surviving drive-ins in and on a wide variety of vehicles, from bicycles on up. That never occurred to us, or possibly to anyone else in our day.

     Driving around with a friend one afternoon, we came upon the Fresh Pond drive-in, which, I am told, was on the site of the present Loewe's theater and the Fresh Pond Mall. I have an impression that on that occasion the drive-in was closed -- out of business, not just lying fallow until dusk.

     Being young and foolish, I made my way through some opening in the perimeter and drove around. I had been to drive-ins before, of course, but always at night and always with someone else driving. I had never noticed that they are built so as to raise the front wheels of the cars parked there, for a better view of the screen.

     We had a marvelous time bumping back and forth over this washboard/amphitheater, trying not to drag the underpinnings of the scooter or skid on the loose, gravel-y non-pavement. I was just getting good at whoop-de-doo-ing across these little hills and valleys when some proprietor-type appeared and ordered us off the premises.

     That afternoon may have been the most fun I ever had at the movies.