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Those Were the Days ~ Cruisin’ ~ Part One

I wasn’t allowed to go “cruising” when I was a teen — at least not as the driver. I could go if one of my friends was driving, however since the gas that fueled the cars had to come from our own pockets, we had our own brand of “cruising” which included a lot of time spent parked in the FIB parking lot.

One of my friends had access to a whole fleet of cars, some of which were really cool. There were two Chevy Belairs, a pristine 1953 model and a tricked out 1957 model. Cruising in either of them got us a lot of attention and glory, but really it was hard to enjoy the experience when we had to spend all of our time saying, “Don’t touch, don’t slam, don’t rub, don’t lean, don’t come near us because if something happens to this car it is more than our puny lives are worth!”

Suzy also had access to two 1977 Ford Capris. We preferred those cars over every other choice. Ford used to make a glorious orange paint (named Ford Orange) that was deep, rich, vibrant and almost red. That was the color of our favorite zippy little Capri. That car did a lot of drag racing.

One day Suzy was driving the orange Capri and her brother, Davy, was driving the green Capri. They decided to have a drag race. I was riding shotgun with Suzy. Yeeha! We zoomed down Front Street, shot into the JC Penney’s parking lot, did a mad spin around a huge landscaping feature (a planter 20 feet in diameter around a huge, old pine tree), back across the parking lot and around another tree in a similar planter, back across the parking lot and … flashing red and blue lights lit up the night. Busted.

So, Suzy and Davy had to go home and tell their parents that they both received very expensive speeding tickets for doing the same thing, at the same time, in the same place. Of course, both kids had to surrender their car keys until they paid their father back for the price of the tickets — and when Suzy’s keys were finally returned they weren’t to the Capri, but that’s a story for later.


  1. I didn’t cruise much either. Of course growing up in Winnemucca there weren’t too many cruising places. I owned a Capri as well. It was a blue one. I loved that car. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thom – -we had Sherman (main street) in Coeur d’Alene. We would cruise from Templin’s Inn to IGA and back again. Usually we just parked in the bank parking lot on 7th and Sherman and hung out with our friends.

  2. My mother and her sister once decided to drag race…except my aunt was on a horse and my mom was driving my aunt’s car….and crashed into a tree. Oops.

    1. SN — it was silly to race a car and a horse, but if they just had to do it, it would have been better to use the road rather than the horse trail. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I never did cruise, or race.
    Even if I had,
    I feel certain I wouldn’t have a story to equal this one.
    That is quite the tale.
    Poor Suzy.

  4. Youth would be amazing if you didn’t sometimes get caught at it.

    Thom, I didn’t know you grew up in Winnemucca. I know a good street for cruising there but that’s a story I ain’t tellin’.

    1. Yup. When I lived there it was called The Line and if you were under 18 you couldn’t go down there. A wonderful cul-de-sac. Or so I’m told. LOL

        1. Ooo la la and big picture windows with some very interesting characters showing their stuff as you circled the cul-de-sac

  5. Cruising wasn’t much of a big city thing.

    But when we’d go up to the little town 30 miles north of Dallas where all the relatives lived, I would sometimes go with my cousins as they cruised around the town square. I thought it was totally boring and was so grateful I lived in Houston!

    So did you get in trouble for being an accessory to the “crime”?!

    1. Linda — we were seldom bored. There was a couple dozen of us in our group and we would hang out in the parking lot and talk and laugh and joke. The driving itself was a very small portion of our time. We were out to see and be seen. Small town kids don’t have many other choices.

  6. Boy, did this bring back memories!! I grew up in a small town in west Texas and there was next to nothing for teenagers to do other than go to a movie. So, cruise we did, with everyone chipping into the gas fund — of course, that long ago, a few dollars would fill the tank!! No one had fancy cars, but we had fun anyway. And you’re right, small town kids don’t have many other choices — certainly not then!! Fun post, Quill!y!
    Have a great weekend! Thanks for the pizza tip!!


    1. Sylvia — yep — we had one movie theater and the same movie played for up to three weeks at a time! Our first fast food place (McDonald’s) came into town near the end of my senior year in high school. There really wasn’t much else to do.

  7. I grew up in a medium size town I did not get to drive the car, but some in our high school did. There were drag races, which I heard about. I got a car to drive after I was out of college, and I began teaching.

    1. Betty — my first car was a motorcycle. I bought me first real car when I was 20. It was a rolling wreck but I loved it!

  8. Grin, Teenagers and their cars ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I did a LOT of cruising with my old Opels. But of course, Gas was much cheaper then. No racing for me though ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nicole — nobody could afford to put gas in a Opel and going cruising these days! They were great cars though!

  9. .
    This is a neat meme. Aren’t you clever!! Please do be sure to finish this one!
    (I did my cruising after I dropped out of college.)

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