The day Donna Summer died, “Hot Stuff” was in my head for hours. Now, I was never a disco fan, and I never went to a disco to dance. I was and am a fan of rock n’ roll, the blues, jazz, and alternative (and by that I mean REAL alternative).
That said, I liked Donna Summer’s music, and listening to the videos of her songs posted to Facebook that day I was transported back in time. Back to the 1970’s and the summer of 1977 to be exact.
That was the summer Saturday Night Fever hit the big screen. I loved that movie and probably saw it a dozen times that summer. I fell in love with Barry Gibb and his hairy chest, and I taught a kid I was babysitting that while the Bee Gees were good, they were covering the Beatles who were much, much better. (That Robin Gibbs died this week only added to my nostalgia.)
There aren’t many, hell, there might not be any drive ins left these days, but back then they were where we made out and sometimes watched parts of a movie.
I have so many wonderful memories of going to the drive in. As a kid, it was an opportunity to wear my PJs while playing on the swings and slides and teeter totters that were behind the big screen. I’d get to play until the movie started and then had to head back to the car. Once there, I would eat some popcorn and promptly fall asleep.
But by 1977, the drive-in was a place I went to with friends. None of us could drive yet, so someone’s parent would take us into the drive in, leave us there, and take off in another car. Later they’d return and drive us all home. I felt so grown up hanging out in the car with my friends. And that particular summer, we danced and sang along with Saturday Night Fever, never tiring of seeing the movie. We knew the dialog, the songs, and all of John Travolta’s moves.
A few years later, we were able to drive to the drive in. Those were the days of switching cars and hanging out with the guy I was absolutely forbidden to see. I no longer remember his name, but I do remember the thrill of breaking the rules. I remember having people hide in the trunk and the bottom of the backseat so we could get in cheaper; I remember the crackling of the speakers; and I remember having a lot of fun, although any specifics now escape me.
I don’t know when the drive in began to die. I don’t think I went to one after high school. When I was in college, it was all about the parties and late night conversations about the meaning of life and how to solve the problems of the world. By then, too, VCRs were all the rage.
What are some of your memories of the drive in?