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.