Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club

The Dashboard A publication of the
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club.
A not-for-profit corporation.
A chapter of Bow Tie Chevys
and Classic Chevy International.
April 2001

At the movies with Don Bays

By Don Bays
Dashboard Staff

For those of you who are somewhat new to the Classic Chevy Club, you haven't been subjected to my articles. For several years, I wrote almost monthly in The Dashboard. This fairly drained me and used up my best stories. If you want to read some of these, ask Marilyn or Keith. They have access to the archives! Anyway I thought I'd try to write again and realized I hadn't shared all my drive-in movie stories yet.

When my friends and I were 16 and 17, we had some buddies who worked at Buchanan's Grocery. This was an infrequent source of beer supply. The way we'd work it would be that one employee would stand at a "closed" register with empty sacks on the ready, while another employee signaled us back at the beer case when Mr. Buchanan had settled in at his desk. We'd then grab two or three six-packs each and run to the front with them, hustling them into the waiting sacks. Then we'd pay and quickly leave.

The first time this feat was accomplished was to supply an outing at the Hillcrest Drive-In for me and three classmates. We took my 1965 GTO convertible to the triple feature with at least four six packs on ice. We kicked back with what for some of us certainly was our first taste of beer and as we finished the cans, we tossed them onto the gravel parking lot.

Ka-chink, ka-chink went the metal cans as they landed. That is until R.C. Jackson tossed his can on the ground. It went Ka-thud! Obviously the boy had wasted one of our prized and hard fought for beers. Boy did he get a razzing! Needless to say, that was his last can to waste!

One of the drive-ins in town was the Northwest HiWay. This was a twin screen large outdoor theatre that hosted the "after-party" for my junior prom. This was a double or triple feature after the dance got over with. The first feature started about 1:15 a..m. as I recall. (Boy, how young did we used to be?!) For this occasion, I was nominated to score some real liquor for the gang. The way you used to do this was to go to the little liquor store near Campus Corner in Norman late at night when only the hired help was there. This guy had coke bottle glasses and must have been 50 or 60! So, I had nerve enough to get one bottle of Cherry Vodka.

(What did I know?) Unfortunately at the drive-in, I didn't know the concession stand help was going to leave soon after the first movie started, so I was stuck with root beer as a mixer. To this day I can't stand the idea of Cherry Vodka.

But it was a pretty good night anyway. Don't know what the movies were, but did get around to visiting in several different cars. (Must not have been "going steady" at the time.) My band-mates brought a couple of amps and plugged into some outlets up by the concession stand to provide some entertainment between movies 1 & 2. Do you remember Hullabaloo? I think we had some girls acting like dancers from that show perched up on the patio cover in front of the snack bar. It was a memorable night. Too bad I can't remember more of it! Oh yeah, I do recall this was one of two times when we actually applied for the trunk discount!

One more quick drive-in story, then I'll let you go. The 14 Flags was a huge drive-in theatre built circa 1965 at SW 96th and Western. The day after Christmas in 1969 was a lovely night and my wife and I decided to take in a double feature. We pulled into one space but then moved over so the speaker could be on my wife's side. She reached out for the speaker but dropped it on the ground. She got out to pick it up, bent over and said "Uh-Oh." She stood there motionless for several seconds, then got back into the car without the speaker. "Not working, huh?", I said. "No, my water just broke", said my wife. "We've got to go to the hospital."

"But we can watch this first film, can't we?" I asked. "You've got to be kidding!", was her reply, I still don't know if I ever got to see that movie, but I sure got a wonderful daughter. (By the way, we could've seen one movie with time to spare. Cheryl was born on December 27 about 2 a.m.

Keep the shiny side up and I'll see you soon!

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