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 Texas : Features : Columns : "Good Day for a Story"
"Good Day for a Story"

Saturday Night on the Avenue
by Jeanne Moseley
Surrounded by open fields on one side and a church on the other, the "Root Beer Stand" served as a boundary line for teenagers as we'd "drag" Ferris Avenue in search of a good time.

I stood on the vacant lot that used to be the Root Beer Stand today enjoying a good laugh as I noticed a sign that read, "No Cruising Zone." This signpost represents just one of the many differences between my generation and that of today.

Friday nights belonged to football games and Youth Center dances, but Saturdays were for "riding around" or "dragging" Ferris Avenue.

Even with our big hair-do's, we could squeeze up to 8 or 10 girls into our parents' full-sized cars. So come Saturday night, those of us without dates (and there were plenty) would dress to the nines and join our friends along Ferris Avenue.

First, we'd make the drag a few times as we mapped out our strategy ... all the while creating the illusion of being nonchalant.

Back in those days, we had "designated lookouts." Typically, each car had only one girl who could actually turn around to look as we passed our favorite hangout. The rest of us focused on indifference.

If the radio didn't work, no problem. We'd simply join in harmony as we mimicked the hits. "He's So Fine," "I Will Follow Him" and "In the Still of the Night" could be heard from many a passing car. Careful consideration was given to our wardrobe, hair and makeup. I was known for my "lucky pantsuit" (orange stretch pants and matching mohair sweater) which I saved for special occasions or when we were feeling especially desperate.

Our parents always knew where to find us, and we seldom stayed out past 10:00 without special permission. If you showed up at the Dairy Mart and were told, "Your mother was just here" ... that meant you'd better high-tail it home.

Some nights were better than others, but throughout my high school years, we enthusiastically repeated this ritual as a sacrament to our youth. Girls acting cool and aloof all the while wanting to be approached. And boys, without a clue, always chasing after the wrong girl.My lucky pantsuit didn't always work, but we had the time of our life as we drove up and down Ferris Avenue.Maybe tonight I'll cruise this familiar drag, turn the radio up and listen to our songs as they fly into the night air.


April 29, 2001
Copyright 2001 Jeanne Moseley
Waxahachie, Texas
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