Saturday nights were special

By Jack Hackley

It saddens me to think our young rural kids will never experience the thrill of going to town on Saturday night. If you have memories like Dennis Dierking, let me know.
Dear Jack,
It was fun to read in the Concordian about the Saturday night ritual from Jack Remembers. Let me tell you what it was like in the late 50s and early 60s in good-ol’ Sweet Springs.
On Friday night if you had completed all your chores for the week, your homework was complete, and you hadn’t back-talked your Mother, then you went out to Dad’s workshop and asked for your allowance.
It was 50 cents. Once it was in your hands you would call your cousin Phil and arrange to meet at Whitsitt’s Drug Store in 15 minutes.
Once we got there we would buy a cherry coke for a dime and then go across the street to the Uptown Theater. Admission was 25 cents for 2 movies and a cartoon.  We’d then buy a 10-cent bag of popcorn and for the next 3 1⁄2 hours be totally amused.
If you’ve followed my math so far you will know that we each had a nickel left so when the last movie was over we would go across the street to the Sweet Shop, a classic American 60s malt shop and blow our last nickel on the pinball machine that was in the front window.
Saturday was a different story.  Having blown my allowance on Friday night, Saturday consisted of this.
My Dad was a mechanic for Turner Chevrolet in downtown Sweet Springs. He worked til noon on Saturdays. We lived about six blocks from downtown but Dad would always walk home on Saturday afternoon after he had parked the car in a good spot to visit with people on Saturday night.
Saturday nights were incredible.  People bringing eggs and produce to Wiley’s grocery. Jack, at one time you could buy a Ford, Mercury, Chevrolet, GM, Chrysler, Dodge product in my hometown and now there’s not even a used car dealership that I know of. It’s really sad.
– Dennis Dierking, Raytown
p.s. Keep writing, Jack

Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or jackremembers,

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