By Richard E. Noble The Den Rock drive-in was on route 114 before the Den restaurant and past McGovern’s. The drive-in movie was one of those 60’s things. I suppose there is now a whole generation who has no idea what a drive-in movie was - like a 45 record or 33 1/3 record album or a 8 track. But the drive-in movie was better than all of those things. Talk about a big screen. The drive-in movie was the biggest screen ever. It was bigger than any movie theater. It was bigger than a highway billboard. It was big. You sat and watched this giant movie screen from the comfort of your automobile. I imagine some married folks took their kids to a drive-in but it was primarily a teenager thing to our generation. It was a meeting, greeting, hangout, drinking, dating thing. In fact, if you were born in the late 60s or 70s there is a good chance that you were conceived at a drive-in movie. Many parents were aware of what went on sexually at drive-in movies and would not let their daughters accept a date to a drive-in movie. Strangely enough parents would let their daughters go to the drive-in with other girls. So cars full of girls would file in with cars full of boys bumping up behind them. Once inside the movie the cars would empty and then the passengers would rearrange themselves with the different sexes intermingling. Boys and girls both would leave their vehicles and go “wandering.” Their goal was either to find somebody or be found by somebody. One excuse for wandering was the refreshment stand. They would interrupt the movie periodically and play an ad for the refreshment stand. They played a little promotional jingle that was also enticing. “We’re going to the lobby; we’re going to the lobby; we’re going to the lobby; to get ourselves a treat.” They would show on the screen little cartoon characters marching joyously off to the refreshment stand. It looked like such fun we all just had to do it. Actually it was fun. The food at the stand was all pre-prepared and wrapped or packaged in aluminum keep-hot bags. Nothing that I can remember was of a five star quality. But they had subs, hotdogs, hamburgers, meatball sandwiches, French fries, pizza slices, candy, popcorn, soda, coffee, cigarettes and whatever. Underage boys also hunted older booze buyers and then would go to the drive-in to drink and party. Metal poles held the speakers. Each car would have an individual speaker to pipe the sound into their auto. Unfortunately for the drive-in theater owners sneaking into a drive-in became a sport. The customary practice was to hide as many kids in the trunk as possible. Two passengers in the front seat looked cool. A boy and a girl in the front sit was a sure thing and two girls was good. Two boys was a little embarrassing but usually got by. One evening, me and a bunch of my buddies had gotten all of our goodies, gathered. We stopped at McGovern’s parking lot to draw straws and see who was going into the trunk. But when we tabulated all our capital, we only had enough for one fare. One boy driving a vehicle into a drive-in movie was not the best tactic - very suspicious. But we had no choice. Since it was my 1946 Desoto fluid drive that we were going in, I was elected the designated driver. I had a big trunk but on this occasion we had so many guys going into the trunk that they were nervous about locking the trunk completely - they didn’t want to become “asphyxiated.” They all piled into the trunk and the last guy in held the trunk open slightly. I was to give them a warning shortly before we pulled in, at which point they would slam the trunk and lock it. I anticipated a long line getting into the movie. I didn’t want the guys stuffed in the trunk to be locked in there too long. I decided to wait until just before I was pulling in to announce my warning. Just as I was crossing the highway leading up to the entrance, I slapped my left hand on the outside of the driver’s door and to make double sure they heard me I yelled out the window, “Okay, we’re pulling in.” I heard the trunk slam. But no sooner did the trunk slam than there was a cop standing in my driveway. He had his hands on his hips and a very unhealthy look on his face. I came to a stop without hitting him. He slowly walked around my vehicle. When he finally ended up by the driver’s window I looked up. With my well rehearsed and practiced poker face I said. “Yes officer? Something wrong?” He bent over and stuck his head in my little window. He glowed his flashlight, exploring my back seat. He pulled back up to a standing position and folded his arms across his chest. With a slight smirk he said, “Going to the movies by yourself, son?” “Yeah,” I said. “My girlfriend’s sick and I really wanted to see this movie.” “What’s the name of the movie tonight?” he asked, cynically. “I stammered and stuttered and tried to see the billboard out the corner of my eye.” “Okay son,” he said losing his smirk. “Turn this tub around and get the hell out of here.” “Yes sir.” By the time I got back to McGovern’s the guys in the trunk were screaming bloody murder. But I couldn’t stop the car on the highway or where the cop could still see me. Right? What the heck! Nobody died. But the “trunk people” weren’t happy with me for a long, long time. Not happy at all.
Richard E. Noble was raised in Lawrence, Mass and is now a freelance writer. He has published several books. Several of them have Lawrence as their setting, A Summer with Charlie and Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother. A Little Something is a book of poetry - parts of it inspired by life in Lawrence. Hobo-ing America is a workingman’s tour of the U.S.A. and The Eastpointer is selected pieces from his award winning column about life in a sleepy fishing village in the Florida Panhandle. His sixth book Noble Notes on Famous Folks is now on Amazon
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.