Pardon me while I reminisce. I do that every once in a while, you know. But there is a focus on traffic in this column; a very specific traffic focus: cruisin'.
It was inspired by a story I read recently in the Duncan Banner in which reporter Rebeka Rutledge told readers that dragging Main Street was making a comeback in her city. Monthly Car Cruise Nights, they call it.
Participants will be allowed to cruise up and down Main between 6 and 10 p.m. each third Friday of August, September and October. Actually, they were scheduled to start last Friday.
As an added feature, some stores along the route will stay open late and have special promotions — and prizes.
The idea developed after people attending a recent annual car show expressed their sentiments about cruise nights and recalled the memories they had of such ventures in years past.
Well, it sparked my memory too, from my younger years growing up in Ponca City and dragging Grand Avenue.
Anybody who was anybody in our age bracket (and sometimes even older) was seen driving Grand. Whether on a date, or simply hanging out with friends, you could enjoy cruisin'.
Sometimes, drivers and their passengers would stop and park along the route and wave or talk to others driving by. It wasn't a racetrack. Speeds were at a minimum. You wanted to enjoy the trip and be seen.
If you had a convertible, or a pickup (it was legal to ride in the bed), you could have an added feature — fresh air.
Granted, not everyone was in favor of the practice of dragging Grand, such as the businesses on either end of the route where turnarounds occurred on their driveways. And, yes, there was a city ordinance against cruising through the establishment parking lot.
Most people I know have similar stories about cities and towns where they grew up, even in the bigger ones. Some people noted locales where cruising is still allowed.
But it was the cruising scenes in movies such as “American Graffiti,” which many of us could relate to. And it was fun.
I commend those in Duncan who are giving people a chance to revisit their earlier years, and I hope they will be as enjoyable the second time around, even if for a short duration.
In all honesty, we all know there have been some cruising spots that became real nuisances and caused major traffic problems.
In other instances, there were problems with those who parked along the route and what they were doing when they did.
That's not what I'm recommending. Far from it. I'm referring to a well-meaning event designed to enjoy a leisurely drive.
By the way ...
Ada held a Cruising Main Street event of its own recently and, according to a report in the Ada News, it was a big success.
Let's hope Duncan's is as well.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.