Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Around the Circle and Out to the Big Boy

Anyone who lived in Darke County knows what 'around the circle and out to the Big Boy' means. I wonder if the ritual remains? For generations, Saturday afternoons people gathered in downtown Greenville to visit with neighbors. The women would shop and the men would sit on the wall outside of the courthouse visiting. On Saturday nights, the teens descended into downtown Greenville driving down the main drag and out to the Big Boy restaurant then back into dtown around the circle down and back again. Over and over all evening long. Cars stopped and traded people. Kids leaned on cars at the Big Boy visiting and flirting with passing cars.

I think to some degree it was a release for farm kids from the boredom and seclusion of the farm. Driving that loop added us to a bigger world, to a wider range of possible new acquaintances. On winter Saturday nights, we all went to Greenville to the Armory dances again for all the same reasons. We met town boys there. I danced in my blue velvet dress. And, we drove around the circle of town enough times to make a person dizzy.

Now the kids hang at the malls or on the streets. I cringe when I run into a mob of rude young adults who lack consideration for other people. Skate boarders dodging in and out of pedestrians, teens texting and talking on phones, seven kids in a car and five seat belts. It's a different world these grandchildren of ours face. Yet aren't they looking for the same things. Friends, possible love interests, fun, escape. I wonder what kind of kid I would be now? I shake my head at the kind of kid I was then.

I look forward to driving around the circle again some day soon and maybe even out to the Bob Evans that stands where Big Boy once stood. My crowd is much older and moves much slower.....and probably not nearly as fun. Ah, sweet youth.

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