This interview with Miami alum, Randy Chapman, was conducted and transcribed by Joyce McBride as part of GMTimes Centennial coverage of Globes High School celebration in September. Here she talks with Randy about his memories of cruising Broad Street in Globe during ’64 -’67. The interview is published in three parts.1JM: Tell us about cruising.
RC: I don’t know how long Broad Street is, four blocks, six blocks? Somewhere in there, from where the old teepee is, down to just before the bridge. That’s one turnaround and the other was up in that empty lot in front of Upton’s by the old train depot.
Friday night you were busy with football games, basketball games or whatever, but on Saturdays, in Miami, we didn’t have a large cruising, Sullivan Street wasn’t meant for cruising. You didn’t have a good turnaround, you really didn’t. There weren’t the places to park. There was the (Hwy) 60 and . . .2JM: So it’s more than cruising, it’s having people watch you cruise.
RC: That’s right. It’s see and be seen. There was also two theatres in Globe, the Alden and the Globe, so you had those two venues to draw people, and it was just the place to be.
My experience was ’64 – ’67. That’s when you either knew someone old enough to drive a car, or you knew someone who had a car but wasn’t old enough but their parents didn’t know what was going on, because you have to remember there was a lot of shift work, shift workers, so. Or you had a friend that had a car, was old enough to drive and if you pitched in for gas, which was at the time 29.9, you could cruise for, you know, on $5 you could cruise for a long time.
You would take off oh, you’d start about 8 or 9, and you’d just drive around. Sometimes you were lucky enough to have money for both a show and gas to cruise around after the show, or just going and cruising. Just going to the show was no fun, you just . . .
3JM: Was this like a “guy thing,” or did you have dates?
RC: Oh, good Lord! DATES? Oh! Good Gosh! NO! Some people, people that dated a lot, I guess THEY would go on a Saturday night. They’re the ones that were stuck with one person that didn’t have the many opportunities that when you cruise, you had! You could pull off, wait at the turnaround, wait at a parking place. Oftentimes you could find a parking place, park, and just hang out, stand in the back of your car and wait, see who was cruising and who wasn’t. And if somebody stopped to talk to you, often you just hopped in their car and went cruising with them for a while.
4JM: Because you ran out of gas.
RC: You’d better believe it! And many a time you used your “Oklahoma credit card,” which was a siphon hose and a 5-gallon gas can. You’d wait until; the best time was about between 6:30 and 8:00, because people were eating then. They were watching television and they were off the streets. This was wintertime, school time, it got dark earlier. You’d park at one end, walk down the street carrying a gas can, some hose, and taking advantage of the situation.
Or you would sell pop bottles. Sometimes some people were known to go to the Warrior Co-op on Friday night, climb the fence in back of the Warrior Co-op where they kept the empty soda bottles, stand on a car top, jump over the fence, hand pop bottles to a friend who would put them in the car, quietly. And then the next day, Saturday, you would sell those Coke bottles, the bottles to Warrior Co-op and you’d have gas money. That’s a rumor that some people did this.
When you cruised, there were exciting things. You threw water balloons. You had Chinese fire drills. Once in a while, whoever was driving the car would let a girl drive the car, and sometimes you wouldn’t see them for a couple hours. The girls, they’d just take off, having fun driving and driving and driving. People would often just hop in your car because you hit the stop light. They’d run in, open the back door, hop in, and have you know, zittt!, goof around, just go around. It was a real social thing. This is one way that if you didn’t play sports, this was a way to meet Globe students, fellow students, and it was just a lot of fun. And it was innocent fun.
5JM: You couldn’t really go to our dances, could you?
RC: I went. One time I tried to go to a Globe High School dance, and because I wasn’t wearing a belt they wouldn’t let me in. So that was okay, I saved the dollar and bought a malt or something, or six or eight Cokes, I don’t know, for a dollar, so. Yeah, they were pretty strict then.
Yeah, if it was out of town, you often went to Globe, but if it was in town, in Miami, after the football game you always had a dance at the gym, a home football game. A home basketball game, they always had a dance at the gym. So that Friday night was taken up with a game and a dance. And then Saturday was spent on going to the Globe or the Alden Theatre and cruising. The Grand Theatre did attract the crowds that Globe did. It had two theatres . . .
6JM: Do you think it was because Mom and Dad might be there, or that it was easier to go to Globe where nobody knew you?
RC: Everybody knew! It didn’t take long before everybody knew who the heck you were. So Broad Street was broader than Sullivan Street and there was just more going on. Plus you had the two theatres, you had Upton’s drive-in, just more going on, so. Miami was a little sleepier after 8 o’clock. Well, no, maybe a better way to put it was Miami was more geared toward “adult recreation” after dark. Miami had many more bars than Globe did at that time.
Most people couldn’t go drink under age in Miami, and you wouldn’t want to do that because you’d see way too many parents. There was a bigger pool of people. The pompon girls, the cheerleaders, football players, basketball players – that crowd always had their group of people that were usually dating and gathering with one another. So that was another kind of social strata, not higher or lower, just another social strata. And the rest of the folks just cruised town and made connections, made a fool of yourself, mooned people, like I said before, Chinese fire drills, water balloons, or in some cases, condoms filled with water.
Guest Contributors include press releases, guest authors, and columnists who contribute less than 4 times a year.