Racing and beer drinking made for fun times
I graduated in 1968 from high school. I had bought a brand new Pontiac Firebird ( 320 horse power ) from the Pontiac dealer in Billings, Oklahoma. We used to drive up and down Van Buren from the A&W; to Sandy’s ( Carl’s Junior now ).
I remember going to teen hops at Medford which would draw a thousand people. The legal age to drink beer was 18 in Kansas, so any Friday or Saturday night you would see a lot of kids from the Enid area there buying beer by the car load to take home. A speeding ticket, which I got for doing 110 mph, only cost $40 and gas was 35 cents a gallon.
Toward the end of 1968 there were reports two nights in a row of strange lights over Billings. The third night they were talking about it on the radio and said a jet from Vance had been dispatched. A car load of us raced over there to see what we could, but it was over before we got there.
Where the Sage room is now was Zeppies Pizza Parlor, and they had a guy in a clown suit out by the road. He was nothing more then an object of harassment by the kids.
The remote control race track on South Van Buren was the Trade Mart shopping center, the forerunner of Wal-Mart.
We would go to Ringwood on Sunday afternoons where they had a quarter mile race track, and funny cars from all over the nation came in to race.
In the summer of 1969 I had completed Marine Corps boot camp and infantry training and was stationed at schools battalion in Ocean Side, Calif. A fantastic thing happened while I was there — America sent two men to the moon. There were 70 of us crowded into a laundry room, which was 14’ by 14’. We were in front of a television set (a 19-inch black & white ) in disbelief. I was on top of a washing machine it was so crowded in the room.