When my older girls were of driving age we lived in a small rural town – it’s now smaller since Wal-Mart came in and most of the downtown area closed up shop. Industries left. People moved away. So sad…
There wasn’t much to entertain the troops on weekend nights or summer evenings. But…when the sun started to set, the fun began. This message from my girls on a group text this morning reminded me of those crazy times.
Back in the 90’s as far as the eye could see, the line of cars continued, ‘making the loop’, and covering the downtown-uptown (what’s the difference?) area which consisted of about a mile. There were twists and turns along the way while each car slowly made its way past the post office, U-turning at the railroad tracks and past the Ice Cream Churn, right turn at the light in the middle of town, past the storefronts, through the light by the Buy-U and making another U-turn past the Delta Theatre, then back past the storefronts making a right turn at the light and a U-turn at the post office to continue in the loop.
Wow! Does that make you dizzy or what? At any given moment a car may pull out of the loop to socialize with someone standing on the side-walk or in front of a storefront. It was safe – I think – and we knew where our kids were at night – we thought. I know mine made plenty of loops putting 88 miles on my car one night and resulting in me having to get new brake shoes before the car was two years old. They were stopping often and riding the brake somewhere and I tended to believe them more often than not! Maybe I shouldn’t have?
A few years after Terri, Kerri, and Amie graduated from high school, in the mid to late ’90’s, ‘looping’ was made illegal in town, resulting in a ticket if you were caught. All those U-turns and stopping and pulling over to talk must have been illegal before, if not dangerous for someone caught in the loop on their way through town, but no one complained, the cops looked the other way, and the kids had some fun.
The majority of these businesses mentioned are gone now, only thought of as fond memories, but that hasn’t stopped the remaining loopers in the area from reminiscing. A Facebook page was started recently – ‘Bring Looping Back To Oakdale’. A looping date was set for February 27, 2016 and approved by the mayor. What a success that was! I heard about it through the grapevine. Check out the video here.
Now it looks like there’s a new Facebook page – ‘Looping The Loop Again’ – and there will be another loop date on June 11, 2016. Be there or be square! My grandchildren are not as impressed with the loop as their parents were. There are other social media outlets that have taken over their lives these days that do not involve moving cars, bad brake shoes, or standing on street corners. Somehow that loop seems tame compared to today’s social media.