Throwback Thursday — Hanging Out

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren asks us about a place or places we liked to hang out in our youth.

Here are Lauren’s questions.

1) Did you spend more time hanging out at friend’s houses or away from the eyes and ears of parents?

I would hang out at friends’ houses or with friends in the sub basement of my house, at the local recreation center, and at the local neighborhood pool. Mostly away from the eyes and ears of my folks.

2) If you stayed home, how did you spend your time?

For those alone times, I invented a game I called “baseball with cards,” where I would select cards from two different decks and combine them to replicate statistical facsimiles of baseball games. Aces were home runs; Kings, triples; Queens, doubles; Jacks, singles (one-eyed jacks would advance base-runners two bases, two-eyed jacks, one base); deuces were walks, tens, strikeouts, nines, sacrifice flies, and the rest of the cards were outs. I’d sit and play baseball with cards for hours on end.

3) Did you have a favorite eatery?

A few. There was the Hot Shoppes, with its “Mighty Mo” double burger (a forerunner of the Big Mac) and the Little Tavern, with its 5¢ grilled burgers and the tagline, “Buy ‘Em by the Bagful,” which my friends and I often did.

4) Did you go to the mall with friends?

Yes, my friends and I used to ride our bikes to Wheaton Plaza, one of the first large indoor malls to open in our area.

5) Did choose to socialize at bowling alleys, arcades, or roller rinks?

Yes. There was a duckpin bowling alley across the street from Wheaton Plaza and the Hot Shoppes, and near a Little Tavern. It eventually converted to tenpins. There was also an indoor roller rink in Rockville that we would often go to on Saturday afternoons. Both the bowling alley and roller rink had a bunch of pinball machines.

6) Did you go miniature golfing or do another outside activity?

Sure, there were a few mini-golf courses nearby that we would go to. Plus some public golf courses. We would also hang out at the local recreation center where we’d shoot hoops on the outdoor basketball courts. I also played for our community Little League baseball and football teams. And during the summer months, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, there was the community pool.

7) Did you hang around after school killing time? What did you do?

Not really. I mostly came home after school and hung out with my neighborhood friends.

8) Did your parents typically know where you were?

Generally, yes. Specifically, no.

9) Did you prefer to “hang” with friends or family members?

I had two significantly older sisters, so I had little choice but to hang out with my chums.

10) Was it “cool” to be seen hanging out at any particular place?

I don’t know how “cool” it was, but we would hang out at the roller rink and at the Hot Shoppes drive-in restaurant (think of the movie “American Graffiti”).

11) Was there a place you wanted to hang out, but weren’t allowed to?

There was a movie theater about two towns over that used to show “blue movies” at midnight on weekend nights. We weren’t “allowed” to go, but some of my friends and I managed to go there a few times.

8 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday — Hanging Out

    • Fandango July 14, 2022 / 2:32 pm

      Indeed I did, Carol Anne. 😉


  1. Marilyn Armstrong July 14, 2022 / 1:56 pm

    We didn’t hang out at malls because we lived in Queens — no malls in the 50s and 60s in New York city. We hung out at the local $1 movie houses though. The Carleton and the Laurelton cost 12 cents each. You could stay all day and just watch those cowboy movies over and over. Garry was at the same movie theaters, though being as he is 5 years older than me, we probably never crossed paths. They were the least expensive third run movie houses. And we could walk there. It was a long walk, but if we took a bus, we wouldn’t have money for the movies.

    There were lots of first run movie houses in Jamaica (Queens), but someone’s mother had to pay for them because they were outside our tiny allowances. The Loew’s Valencia was one of those movie houses. It looked like someone’s stoned out version of a palace and included a ceiling of twinkling stars. My brother and I saw “Shane” there. I was 5 and I remember getting lost staring at the twinkling ceiling. That movie house has (long since) been turned into a church. It holds more than 3,000 people, so they must have quite a following. I wonder if the ceiling still twinkles.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 14, 2022 / 2:58 pm

      I used to take the bus to the movie in town. 25¢ for the bus each way, 25¢ for the ticket, 20¢ for popcorn and 5¢ for soda. Mostly horror movies and westerns and slapstick comedies, all at least 10-15 years old at the time.


      • Marilyn Armstrong July 14, 2022 / 4:47 pm

        Yup. That’s what you got for a few cents. Our movies were 11 cents, but they raised it to 12 cents because they decided (at age 12) we were “adults.” BUT we had to sit in the kids section. I thought we ought to sue them. It was a rip off!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren July 14, 2022 / 4:03 pm

    Thanks for joining in again Fandango. I am fascinated by the game you invented. You must have a mathematical mind. There were no buses where I grew up. We got a ride from parents to go most places. Otherwise we walked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie July 15, 2022 / 8:23 am

    We didn’t have malls anywhere around until much later. In the small town, the stores were sprinkled around town and the only place to hang out was the local Dairy King. Years later, I fell in love with pinball machines. Still love them today!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. leigha66 July 17, 2022 / 1:31 pm

    I still have vivid memories of our local arcade… it was designed like the inside of a space ship, so cool! Sounds like you had a pretty good childhood!

    Liked by 1 person

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