Memories of the Drive-In Theater When I Was a Teenager

I spent more than a few Friday nights in the drive-in theater in Bonham, Texas in my teenage years. Yes, I was there with my boyfriend, Sam, and I would be less than honest if I said that we ever saw more than half of any movie. There was something so private – despite having vehicles parked all around you – sitting in the car on that dark field with a movie flickering on the screen off in the distance. A time to snuggle up and kiss a little while voices and music filled the car from the speaker hanging suspended from the window glass. Yes, I liked the drive-in – it was cozy and safe – and I especially liked the concession stand, which stands out in my memory as a swirl of color – bright orange in particular – and filled with the smell of freshly popped popcorn and dill pickles.

People I know who grew up in my hometown of 7,000 are almost always happy they were raised there. Bonham people are proud people and we seem to share a sense of connection simply by being from Fannin County, near enough to Dallas to enjoy the benefits, but far enough away not to have the liabilities. I still enjoy visiting my hometown, seeing old friends, and returning to a few of my old haunts. I am sad to say the Bonham drive-in is long gone. Not so the memories, however.

One of these days I’d like to go back to a drive-in. Maybe my husband and I can snuggle up as we watch a movie. That would be fun. Still, there’s nothing like being sixteen and with your first love. Those are memories that hold a whole acre of ground in your heart. Still, Ray and I will do our best. I suspect we can have a little bit of fun, as well. After all, as my Daddy used to say, “I was sixteen about a minute and a half ago.” I guess I was, too. Or, at least that’s how it feels.


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