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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…

Almost a ghost town...

Now almost a ghost town…

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.

Making the loop!Making the loop!

Can you tell who the rebel of the family was? "Love you Kerri!"

Can you tell who the rebel of the family was? “Love you Kerri!”

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.


Why did I not know this?

Why did I not know this?

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.

I’m not sure when looping started and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t part of the social activities when I was in high school…or maybe I was justout of the loop’!




About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

13 responses »

  1. You could be writing about my hometown in south-eastern NC. We called it cruising town. They too tried a cruising ban and businesses put signs in their windows announcing either they were for it or against it. Cruising was around when I was in high school in the 70’s and now I’m wondering how far back it went before that. I’ll have to ask around. That would be good to know. Oh, and Walmart and Belk moving to a new mall caused the demise of our downtown also. So sad.My father had a ladies shoe business. It lasted as long as possible but finally gave up the ghost.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Same age here as well, Elle. Sounds to me like looping was good for the town, and that the town is now drying up. Walmart is a fine place for helping keep cost down, but it’s sad that other businesses pay a high price for Walmart’s success.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looping seems like such a simple pleasure. At least everyone knew where their kids were!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am always amazed you have all these children. We’re the same age, though I’m a few months older, and I can never fathom what it must be like to be a multiple mother, and have to admit, I so envy you…sigh

    Liked by 1 person


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