The Drive-in Team

21 08 2016

Recently I reconnected with two dear friends from back in the days when I worked at20160821_203139 a drive-in movie theatre. I had almost forgotten about that moment and all the fun we had there and after our duties were completed at the concession stand. After corresponding with one of these old friends, I went to my studio to lay hands on one of my prized possessions; what you’re looking at in the picture. A smile came to my face as I gripped this old relic and the many wonderful memories of those days flooded my mind.

We all had jobs to do in preparation of the horde of movie goers that would descend on the concession stand during intermission. There was the grill for burgers, the pizza oven, popcorn, soda, candy and even the best hot powdered donuts you could get anywhere. We had to operate like a well-oiled machine that could handle many functions all at once. Most of the customers were good folks, but each night there would be a stinker or two whose main purpose was to see how much grief they could give us. Such is human nature. But through it all we would meet the challenge of taking care of everyone’s orders and finish the night with success and pride at the job we did. After we shut down and cleaned we’d gather in the back room for a few minutes of drinking sodas, talking about how the night went, and then take time to laugh and unwind. There were times we all went out together, maybe for some late night bowling or perhaps to just ride around and be silly; for as time went on we became more than a work crew, we were friends almost like family. The longer I hold this treasure between my fingers the more I remember the good times working at the drive-in and the joy it brought me; well at least up to that one certain point. Now let’s see, what happened in that one dismal moment? Oh yeah, I got canned! So how does one go about losing a job they really enjoy with people they love to be with? Well it’s easier than you may realize, all you have to do is be completely full of yourself.

For those who have been regular readers of this blog you’ll know that as a young man my main goal was to carve out a career in music, nothing else mattered more including a good job and good people. At first things were as I described, enjoyable and fun-loving. But if the choice come down to playing music or going to work, then the job was always going to take a backseat and people were just going to have to understand; this was my career–my destiny, not making popcorn or serving pop. Different ones tried to talk to me about this attitude, but I wasn’t interested in listening; guess I went far enough to show I wasn’t the team player they needed because the manager finally let me go. Anger pulsated through every bone of my body and on the night I was fired, I walked out and never saw many of those people, those friends, again.

One of my heroes John Wooden said, “A player who makes a team great is better than a great player. Lose yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork.”

When I hired in at the drive-in, it was more than a part-time job; it was a promise that I’d do my best to be a help to the entire crew, the team and not make it harder on them. Because of an arrogant attitude, I not only failed them, but myself also. I had a great opportunity to learn what is was like to work as a team and I chose otherwise.

Over the years through the help of my Lord I’ve learned what it means to be dependable, even more to depend and trust others. I’m thankful for folks who have nurtured me in understanding we all need help and to be a help.

Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”

Like I’ve said in the past, I write exposing the good and bad about this man in hopes it will be helpful to someone else.

As for this object, it’s a car speaker that you’d hang on your window to hear the movie. Well one day I received word they were going to tear down the old drive-in. Hopping in my car I drove the 150 miles over to Ohio just to see the place once more before demolition and perhaps pick up a token as a memory to those days. The rest is history; besides the statute of limitations ran out years ago!

As I stare into this old leftover from an industry my grandchildren will never know, I begin to see the faces of the “Travelers of the Rock Road” from those days and I smile.

“Thanks guys for being such awesome friends.  Sorry I wasn’t one in return, at least until now.

See ya next time!




2 responses

24 08 2016
Beverly Crane

Another great blog. They always seem to hit home. I remember those drive in movies and the box you are holding brings back many memories. We have a drive in now in the small town I live in. Even those have changed so much. The sound comes through your radio and you are charged per person and not by the car load. Isn’t it amazing the road we have all traveled to get to where we are at today? We may veer off the intended path but God is always right there…….

30 08 2016

So very true Beverly, so very true. Thank you for your comments. 🙂

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