The high gas prices ended my favorite high school past time – driving around.
When we could fill up our parents’ car for three bucks, we whiled away time by driving around and listening to the radio.
We usually ended up at Steak N Shake, which was the cool place to hang out. Steak had curb service. Some kids had collections of those big, thick milkshake glasses and metal trays, the kind that attached to the windows – all stolen from Steak n Shake, which may be one reason why Steak no longer has curb service.
Some high school kids couldn’t afford a Steakburger. Instead, they’d buy a hamburger at McDonalds, then buy a soda at Steak and see their friends.
But we didn’t just drive around. We also went drag racing on Hall Street.
Those days are gone, and the teen culture that went with it.
My friends say their teenagers can’t afford to drive around, burning sixty bucks worth of gas a night. Instead, the kids hang out at coffeeshops, bookstores or ice cream shops. They also spend a lot of time on the computer. Teen radio no long rules. Now kids get their music from the computer.
The kids also go to each other’s houses. Most prefer homes where the parents were rarely home - just like we did.
There is one time when kids still drive around – when they’re looking for a place to neck. Some things never change.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.