For all of us --teenagers in Blackwell Oklahoma,
back in the 60's and 70's -- the main activity was
the main drag: the endless dragging Main that
always began and ended circling
drive-in... a classic, park-and-order-and-they-bring
-it-out-on-a-tray drive-in like the one you saw in
American Graffiti. Every damn night we were out
in our cars, restless, bored, roaming, wishing we
were driving not in circles but in a long, straight
line, into the night and away from Blackwell forever.
I remember Twila working there,
I remember sitting at the Sonic for hours with
Launa, I remember the diagonal parking slot on the
north west side that Carla and I preferred...
...and I remember climbing into someone's
car there to talk to Rebecca on the Friday night
before she was killed. Home was where we slept,
school was where we spent our days, but the Sonic
was where we lived in the closing years of the 60's
when we were young in Blackwell, Oklahoma.
When I planned to go back to Blackwell, this was
one of my favorite images -- sitting, once again, at
the Sonic with Carla and Launa, seeing kids driving
through, kids watching each other, to see who was
out and available, who was riding with whom...kids
creating their own dramas
as they dragged Main,
thirty years later, wondering who the old folks were,
the ones laughing. Kids as restless as we were, and
maybe angrier and more hopeless, because it's that
kind of town.
Here's the Sonic that greeted me when I went back
to Blackwell, when I dragged that main street again,
thirty years after my time was up...