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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Bit of Nostalgia

~Friday, February 17, 2023~

Day 979

Woke up to clear, non-breezy skies. Gee, does that mean that we’ll finally be able to do a little kayaking? Spotting a few independent kayakers gave us a glimmer of hope but the breezes picked up as the morning went on, snuffing out our chance of getting out there…..again. Yep, rentals were closed for the day. Doggone it! It’s so frustrating that we can’t just kayak the calm waterways next to our campground, with no intent of paddling the open, more windy bay. But I get the liability issue and the worry of people pushing their limits. We’ll have plenty of other opportunities in the coming weeks, we hope. At any rate, it gave us good reason to simply enjoy the peaceful setting that our campsite offered with it being our final day and all. But first, a bike ride to the beach to watch pelicans chillin’ and eager anglers with their eye on a prize. Even the small, 2-person sized

beach spot we found the other day made just for us, seemed to beg us to come take a seat. So nice!

And you’d never believe what we did to top off our day. We went to the movies…..AT A DRIVE-IN!! We couldn't remember the last time we had been to one of these things, and no one needed to twist our arms to go. How about you? Do you still have a drive-in where you live? We found out that we were in one of the lucky cities that still has one as there are only 320 remaining in the U.S. But how do they work in the modern age? This drive-in was void of speaker poles which meant 2 choices…. a) listen through your car radio in which you’d have to restart your car every 20-30 minutes to recharge the battery or b) listen through a portable radio. Lucky for us, our handy dandy weather radio has AM/FM on it. And a bonus…..the guy next to us had an amazing car stereo system that thank goodness, enhanced our tiny little radio. Give that man a beer. Oh wait, that’s right, no alcohol allowed. O.k. a fruity seltzer should do the trick. The trucks were parked in the very rear of the “cinema” and would say it was about 75% full, not bad for a Friday night. They said 33-vinyls and turntables would never come back, but here they are. So maybe there’s hope for the nostalgic drive-in movie experience to have its comeback too?! Even though the sound may not be quite as good and the darker movies are harder to view, you can’t beat this fun movie-going experience for a few reasons:

  1. it’s easier to bring in your own snacks

  2. the seats are likely more comfortable

  3. tickets are cheaper ($7.00/person) and you usually get a double feature

  4. and you can talk during the movie (though I’m usually really good about not doing that in theaters….I know hard to believe)

Then I thought, what brought the slow-decline of this movie going experience in the first place? So I did a little research. Believe it or not……..MALLS! In the 80’s, when Main Street America began to transition into the mall society (though not in all cases), people began demanding an ‘all-inclusive’ , one-stop shop experience. It became more about the movie itself, rather than about the experience. I had brought some delicious leftovers from Jeff’s birthday dinner and a few rule abiding beverages.

The only thing we forgot was mosquito spray. I think I’m in for a red-marked, welted body tomorrow. They seem to LOVE me! In case you’re wondering, the movie selection was “Ant Man & The Wasp: Quantumania”, and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, both Marvel Studio films. The Ruskin-Family Drive-In has been in business since 1952 where its first movie was “Singin’ in the Rain” (one of my favorite musicals of all time). They call themselves the last FAMILY drive-in in the U.S. During intermission, with windows slightly rolled down, I heard the pleasant sound of an owl perched high on a branch likely looking for his dinner. Or maybe he’s into Marvel movies too?! Needless to say, we made it through both movies, a leftover dinner and a bag of popcorn to boot. Even Sadie enjoyed it!

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