That Magic Summer - Twilight Drive-In
 There were some great movies playing at the Twilight Drive-In that summer.  The movies I remember were Godzilla, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Tarantula, The Fly, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Monster from the Ocean Floor, Rodan, the Flying Monster and Them! 

There wasn't any air conditioning back then so families would pack up everybody and go to the Drive-In to escape the heat.  There was a large playground in front of the silver screen where all of us kids loved to play. When the movie previews started we all knew it was time to return to our car.

Bobby was spending the night with me when my father announced before dinner that we were all going to the drive-in movie tonight and see Rodan, the Flying Monster and Invasion of the Body Snatchers!  Bobby and I were delighted and had a hard time stemming our enthusiasm but a couple of swats from my mother settled us down for a few moments. 

Mom announced that it was time to wash our hands because it was time for supper.  After Bobby and I ran some water over our hands and then we took our place at the table. 

Tonight Mom had made hot dogs and we were happy.  The only problem was we had eaten a lot of cookies at Bobby's house and we didn't have much of an appetite.   My Mom was an impatient woman and decided Bobby and I weren't eating our dinner fast enough and announced "Hurry up and eat your wienies!"  Well, Bobby and I both just completely lost control and started to laugh louder and louder then my Mother again told us to "Settle down and eat our wienies" - oh no we exploded!  At this point my Mom threaten us by saying "I'm going to call Bobby's Mother and see if you two can spend the night at Bobby's House tonight instead of going to the movies." 

By this time my side was hurting  from all the laughter, tears were pouring down from my eyes and then the worse thing that could have happen did:  I looked at Bobby and we both exploded in laughter again!  That was too much for my Mother and she called Bobby's Mother!  At that point Bobby's and my world came crashing to an end!

Bobby and I knew we had pushed things too far and tried to redeem ourselves by quickly finishing our dinner pretending like nothing had happen.  Maybe Mom would forget everything and allow us to go to the movie anyway?

At the time I didn't understand mother-speak.  What had occurred on the phone was a bluff to take control of the situation.  Mom told us to get in the car but instead of turning right to go to Bobby's house we turned left which is in the direction of the drive-in!  We both were on our best behavior and didn't say a word or make a sound during the entire ride.  I think we became invisible!

After we arrived at the drive-in and the car was parked we politely ask if we could go to the playground.  Mom say OK and we were off. 

I've heard that there are some people who didn't have an opportunity to see Rodan, the Flying Monster or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Well Rodan was about a giant flying monster that had been awoken from an ancient hibernation by human beings. In Rodan, miners digging far into the earth and stumbled across some giant, prehistoric insects which  attacked and killed several of the miners.  The giant insects turned out to be food for two gigantic flying beasts called Rodans which were similar to pteranodons except they were far larger, meaner, more powerful and loved to eat humans.  After hatching from giant eggs they proceeded to terrorize the world.  Now the Invasion of the Body Snatchers was about A doctor who discovers that many of his patients were accusing their loved one of being impostors.  The local psychiatrist assure the doctor that the cases were nothing more than a dose of mass hysteria.  The doctor soon learns that the townspeople were in fact being replaced by simulations grown from plantlike pods that were perfect duplicates who killed and disposed of their human victims.  The Pod People are indistinguishable from normal people with the exception of their total lack of emotion.  Then the Pod People work together to secretly spread more pods!  The entire human race is being taken over by the Pod People because pods were placed in the same room as their human prey and taken over when they fall asleep. The movie ends with a man screaming "YOUR NEXT!"

The movie previews started which meant it was time to return to the car.  When we arrived my Dad gave Bobby and me a quarter each to buy refreshments at the snack bar.  Then a song came over the speakers: "Let's all go to the snack bar, let's all go to the snack bar...".  It only took us second to arrive at the snack bar and we both bought a carton of popcorn and a coke which left both of us with a nickel that we would spend at intermission.  We returned to the car and settled in for a great movie.

Rodan, the Flying Monster was the first feature and it started out with giant insects attacking people and Bobby and I became very concerned because there were a lot of insects in the playground earlier but, when Rodan was flying around and eating everything in sight we became terrific and we both decide to get down on the floor board and cover ourselves with a blank.  This would make us invisible to Rodan.  We kept hearing the sound of planes in the air and wondered if some of them were Rodan!  We couldn't wait for this movie to end and finally it did and the lights came on and the song started playing again "Let's all go to the snack bar, let's all go the snack bar."  We both wanted to go and buy a candy bar but we were afraid (Rodan).  We both had to go to the bathroom so we darted out of the car and ran for the restroom.  We made it there alive!

We took care of business and went into the snack bar and I bought a butterfinger and Bobby bought a payday and our ritual was to break the candy bar in half and share it with the other.

We returned to the car and settle in for the second movie: Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Oh My God this movie frighten us to death!  You couldn't get away from a Pod Person and if you went to sleep you never awoke!

That night we did our best to stay awake but we both went to sleep.  In the morning when I woke up I realized that I wasn't a Pod Person but wandered if Bobby was?

OneVoice   OneVoice wrote
on 10/17/2008 8:27:59 AM
Thanks Hank! Good memories... days like these were among the notable pages within that chapter of our lives... I fear we may seldom turn to and 'read' again

penname   penname wrote
on 9/27/2008 10:56:29 PM
this was nostalgic. i love the opening. and it brings back memories that I dont really remember. great piece.

Highwaynomad   Highwaynomad wrote
on 9/5/2008 8:07:33 PM
Like stareing in to a black hole in space bringing me back to happier times, when families actually enjoyed spending time together. Awsome descripiton of being turned in to a POD . Now a days you mention PODS and IPOD comes to mind. such poor imagination the now adays generation brings to the table. Awsome tale very nicely told ,take care Highway

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 9/2/2008 11:34:25 PM
Hank man you bring back some good memories. Though I did not see those movies at the drive in, I do remember seeing 3 Bruce Lee movies once. And the playground...and popcorn... and them tacky intermission commercials. Thanks Hank for the reminisce.

Short Story
writing Hank
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There were some great movies playing at the Twilight Drive-In that summer.  The movies I remember were Godzilla, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Tarantula, The Fly, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Monster from the Ocean Floor, Rodan, the Flying Monster and Them!