by Curtis D. Tucker
Each of us carry our own memories of growing up in a carefree time, when we had little responsibility and days of discovery. I loved growing up in my hometown of Enid, Oklahoma. There are dozens of memories trapped in my mind that occurred in the 70’s and early 80’s. This is a list of the things I remember and miss the most from those good old days.
This list is not to say that Enid doesn’t have many great things going on now. There is easily a list of 50 things that my daughters will look back on in 30 years and remember fondly. Each of us grew up in different neighborhoods on different sides of town. I was pretty much in the middle of everything location wise and economically.
The thing that sticks out the most is the freedom we had when we were in grade school and junior high. We could go to any part of town on our own and our parents never had to worry. We could throw our bikes down at the movie theater and they’d be there when we got out. It sure seemed like a safer, more innocent time whether it was or not.
I originally wrote this back in 2008 but I’ve updated it and thought I would re-post.
1. I miss the Tri-State carnival rides and food being parked on west Broadway.
2. I miss Summerfest and taking photos of the hot air balloons.
3. I miss the stores and crowds downtown, especially on Saturday and Crazy Day.
4. I miss watching Disney and other movies at the Esquire Movie Theater.
5. I miss my birthday dinner with relatives being in the round room at Richill’s Cafeteria.
6. I miss collecting green stamps and trading them for stuff at the Green Stamp Store.
7. I miss buying toys and snacks at Wackers in Westgate Shopping Center.
8. I miss playing 45’s in the jukebox at Ken’s Pizza during lunch at Enid High.
9. I miss the onion rings and shakes from Next Door Restaurant on Garriott.
10. I miss buying comics from Baker’s Pawn Shop on west Maine.
11. I miss sneaking into the Trail and Enid drive-ins.
12. I miss playing Asteroids for hours on one quarter at Putt-Putt.
13. I miss chasing ducks in the paddle boats at Meadowlake.
14. I miss buying cassettes and albums at Jack’s Records and Tapes.
15. I miss sitting at the A & W Drive In and sneaking off with their trays.
16. I miss looking at Weeblo and Cub Scout gear at Coldirons.
17. I miss the mystique and tales of the Magnificent Cobra.
18. I miss seeing the bikini swimsuit guy jogging down Lahoma Rd.
19. I miss Wendy’s being located in the neighborhood.
20. I miss the riding the Bullet at Meadowlake and watching my best friend get sick.
21. I miss buying white mice, 45’s and black light posters at Woolco.
22. I miss getting bike parts and skateboards at OTASCO.
23. I miss riding bikes & sliding on boxes down the hill at the Bird Sanctuary.
24. I miss getting drinks with “good ice” at Somewhere restaurant.
25. I miss finding boxes around town to build a cardboard maze on Halloween.
26. I miss exploring the water drainage tunnels under Van Buren and Garriott.
27. I miss catching tadpoles in Boggy Creek and going home covered in mud.
28. I miss going up and down the ramp at the Sears parking garage.
29. I miss sneaking out to the, so called, “Insane Asylum” late at night.
30. I miss watching people drag Van Buren.
31. I miss trick-or-treating in the Waverly area with sidewalks packed with kids.
32. I miss playing on the escalator at Evans Drug downtown.
33. I miss browsing hobby and train stuff at Enid News and Stationary.
34. I miss the awful smell of the monkey pit at the Enid Zoo.
35. I miss the electronic parrot and the running train at Richill’s.
36. I miss playing hide-n-go-seek under the seats at the old Gaslight Theatre.
37. I miss throwing snowballs off the second floor of the Knox Mansion.
38. I miss eating multiple Pak-A-Sak burgers and their great onion smell.
39. I miss the giant water slide on north Van Buren.
40. I miss playing neighborhood hide-n-seek on west Broadway late at night.
41. I miss skateboarding in the office park parking lot at 1420 west Garriott
42. I miss riding bikes on the BMX dirt track at Elm and Cleveland.
43. I miss the smell of Ken’s Bakery.
44. I miss picking out gifts from the Service Merchandise catalog and store.
45. I miss the base wide 4th of July celebration and cook-out at Vance.
46. I miss buying magic tricks and gags at Papa Torry’s.
47. I miss the creaky wooden floors at Dollar General/Kress.
48. I miss buying candy at Fitzsimmons on the way to Waller Jr. High.
49. I miss trying on sneakers and t-shirts at Larry Black’s.
50. I miss listening to stereo equipment at Contemporary Sounds.
I’ve gotten so much feedback and other great memories I am going to create a second 50 things we all miss about growing up in Enid! Stay tuned! It’s on the way.
I’m the one on the Grentec Coyote skateboard from OTASCO. Circa 1970’s.