Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, July 7, 2017

Small Town Summer Night

Milk River, Alberta. My Home Town.
A summer sunset.
For a short time, a hush falls over the town.
Then the Summer Evening starts.
The rumble as the teen-aged drivers in Dad’s car (or one resurrected and maintained by their own hands) start cruising Main from the Catholic church to the hotel. Most of them watching for ‘that’ vehicle. The one containing their person of the moment.
Listening to CJOC or CHEC, or, if you had a good radio, CKXL in Calgary.
Rat races (hide and seek with cars) through the back alleys and sidestreets.
The dust hanging in the still air, most noticeable around the street lights. Giant water bugs, ditto.
Glancing in the lighted windows of Charlie’s to see who is hanging out there, listening to the jukebox.
Checking out the dance in the high school gym and trying to avoid the chaperones, all of whom know one’s parents.
Going to one of a half-dozen parties at someone’s barn/gravel pit/cabin/shack complete with bonfire and/or some form of alcohol.
Stopping for milk shakes, mushroom burgers and/or popcorn twists at the Milky Way and visiting/flirting with whichever of your friends currently works there…
Cruising main again.
And finally, as the cars thinned out and your friends find other places to be . . .
Sitting by the slow-moving ribbon of silver that gives your town its name. Drinking one last milk shake and eating popcorn twists by the bagful with your big sister. The sixteen-year-old who just gave you a glimpse of what you will be doing when you become teenager in a few short years.
And the words over the radio you’ve been waiting all night for: On McKenzie’s Instant Top 12, THIS is Number One!

17 comments:

  1. I often read your posts and think about how different our childhoods were. Today I'm thinking about how similar our teenage years were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew it was in there somewhere! :)

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. They all seem somewhat dusty and sun-kissed. Funny, that.

      Delete
  3. I love this so much-----a wonderful, sentimental walk down memory lane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Marcia! I love memory lanes!

      Delete
  4. This one is alien to me. I suspect it wasn't alien to the 'cool kids' while I was growing up. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was strictly an observer as well, EC!

      Delete
  5. So different from my teenaged years (perhaps that is why I enjoy your blog so much) except for that wait for the music survey and the #1 song to be announced. Mine was over WABC in New York City, every Tuesday, with a DJ called Cousin Brucie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cousin Brucie! Excellent name! I'd love to hear more of those teen-aged years. Heading over to your blog to do a little scouting . . .

      Delete
  6. Teenage summer nights, such memories :)
    We didn't cruise so much, we mostly gathered at the local drive in theatre, where nobody seemed to watch the movie, but spent time car-hopping in groups that gathered, dispersed, regathered with different members, even long after the movie had finished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drive in! The nearest was fifty miles away and we went as often as we could. At least once a summer. The memories!

      Delete
  7. Like Elephant's Child, this was not me, sadly. But your post reminded me of the movie American Graffiti, which I saw after I finished high school and loved. It must have been extra special to go with your big sister - what a treat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was always such a sweetheart to include her annoying little sister. Usually I got to come on a non-weekend night, though. ;)

      Delete
  8. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!

    บุนเดสลีกา

    ReplyDelete

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