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Let’s take a ride down Lovers’ Lane, circa 1960
Written by Terry Viel   
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:26 PM

As a mature teenager, young “adult” cruising around Harrison, a common practice for dating was taking your girlfriend on a very expensive, and romantic outing.

A guy would meet his girlfriend at Frisch’s on State Street. She would jump from her girlfriend’s car into your wheels. Normally if the poor slob was not too far removed from payday, he would spring big time, a Big Boy and Cherry Coke, two sandwiches and split the drink for $1.25.

The beautiful female could normally be swooned by the chap’s charm and his ability to throw money around freely. This made a romantic trip to Lover’s Lane a distinct possibility.

After some discussion and assurance that everything would be OK at Lover’s Lane, a mutual plan was devised. Before heading out of town to one of the isolated passion pits, a stop at the local carryout was necessary.

There were no drive-thrus in the 1960s. You had to go in, fetch your beer out of the cooler, and face a guy at the counter with your fake ID.

Two types of beer could be purchased depending on your age, 3.2 percent (red caps) for 18- to 20-year-olds. The high test, 6 percent (blue caps) was legal for 21-year-olds or older. Just like in the movie American Graffiti when Toad went into the liquor store, the male figurehead would saunter into the carryout while the damsel waited in the car, hiding under her coat.

If that certain clerk was working, you could be ensured of getting the high test, even with your poorly altered Draft Card I.D., the date changed with Whiteout and written over with a manual typewriter.

“I’ll take these two quarts of Burger, Ed.”

“No problem, enjoy your evening, watch out for the cops on Campbell Road.”

Now, with the successful acquisition of two frosty quarts of Burger placed into separate brown paper bags, they were ready to head out to one of the local “Lovers’ Lane” spots.

The three most in vogue spots were Pinhook Road, Marvin Road hill turn around, and the large open space gravel pit. The gravel pit offered lots of advantages - large open area allowing room for multiple cars, and a beautiful view of the stars, almost like being in the Roman Coliseum.

The romantic couple would go to the gravel pit, find a nice quiet corner, back in so you could see who came in, or, if required, you could make a quick getaway.

After you were parked and felt secure, it was time to turn on the transistor radio to WSAI for some nice  rock ‘n’ roll music such as Hey Baby by Bruce Channel.

The next job was to get the church key out of the glove box, slide down the brown bag, exposing a beautiful cold Burger Beer quart, and then finally popping the blue top off.

The guy would take a couple of long swigs first just to get the ball rolling, all the while the music was playing, “Heyyyyy Baby, won’t you be my girl.”

Now it was time to hand over the quart to his date, and she would gently sip a small amount, just like a lady should do. Well at least at first.

The night was wonderful, and soon the two quarts of Burger disappeared and romance was in the air, until the dumb guy belched so bad, grossing out the girl, the moment was gone in a flash.

That was the end of the evening. He took his grouchy girl back to Frisch’s, dumping her at her friend’s car, then pick up his buddies to tell war stories of his escapades from the evening, slightly enhanced.

The stories he communicated to his buddies were quite different than the version told by the damsel to her girlfriends, “giggle - giggle- giggle - giggle.”

Nothing could have been more romantic than the moonlight interlude at the gravel pit, two quarts of Burger in brown paper bags, a church key in the glove compartment, a static transistor radio on the dash of a rusty Green 1955 Plymouth.     “Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp - whoops excuse me!”

Terry Viel is an avid Harrison history buff who collects and restores vintage Harrison photographs.