YOU may not have to be as ‘OLD’ as me to find some of our modern day events to be much watered down, compared to the historical event that it is supposed to represent. Case in point: the ‘Cruise Night’. While the weekly cruise night held in RED DEER, Alberta is a great draw for sometimes hundreds of vehicles, there is one element missing: actual cruising. There are vehicles actually ‘cruising’ into and out of the parking lot where the show and shine is held. This is somehow not the same as a real cruising event. The abundance of more ‘domestic’ vehicles like suv’s and mini-vans really kills the vibe.
SOME of the older generation might disagree, but I will say that the ‘high point’ of actual street cruising occurred in the mid to late 1970s. This was due in a large part to the release of George Lucas’ American Graffiti in 1973. Cruising caught on especially well in Red Deer as a result of an abundance of multi-lane streets and avenues, little cross-traffic, and predictable traffic light sequences. There were also a number of facilities or attractions that helped to create excitement. I will add that the local RCMP were pretty tolerant of the goings-on. If you got busted, chances are you deserved it. (Been there- done that.)
ONE other movie that harkens back to ‘the good old days’ is an animated feature called ‘CARS’. I never saw the movie until a friend gave me a copy. I think I have seen it 5 times, and will watch it again in the future. If you haven’t seen it- get a copy, you will love it. Fun for all ages.
WHERE I am going is like this: Both movies share the theme of eras dying off because of societal changes; one where the main characters grow up, move away, (or die). Or, society changes and bypasses our way of life- somewhat like the inter-state system killed off Route 66.
WE have a similar situation locally, and there may be an opportunity we can benefit from.
THE recent construction of new interchanges on the south end of Red Deer has meant that heavy truck traffic pretty much by-passes GASOLINE ALLEY which has cut down on a lot of traffic congestion, but also cost area businesses needed traffic and income. In fact, the first thing that greets you when you take the entrance to Gasoline Alley (Leva Ave.) is a large For Lease sign. I think it should say “Welcome to Radiator Springs”. The main drag of Gasoline Alley is straight, well lit, lots of Fast Food joints, Gas Bars, and parking lots. The only thing missing is CRUISERS.
SO, there you have it: you can do the Thursday night park your ass on a lawn chair behind your parked car, or go ‘cruising’ and create some new memories.