Thursday, September 06, 2007

Remember The Fifties? Remember Car-Hops?

When I first looked at this photo my thoughts flashed back to the era when a pretty young thing like Monkette might be looking forward to the day when she could spend her summers working as a car-hop, earning money and flirting with all the cute guys. At least the car-hops could pre-qualfy the guys by who could afford a car. Few teens could afford their own, and it was pretty obvious that if they were driving a Buick it was Daddy's car, not theirs.

Nobody had air-conditioning and the few movie theaters and department stores that did have it proudly proclaimed the fact both on their signs and in their advertising. Many a person paid for a movie ticket more to escape the summer heat than to watch the double feature, plus the sports, news, and cartoons that came along with them. At least you were allowed to smoke during your three hours or so of being comfortable.

Roadside restaurants catered to folks driving their unairconditioned cars. You pulled into the lot and a car-hop, always a cute highschool or college girl in shorts or a short skirt, would take your order. They returned shortly with special trays designed to hook over the door with the window rolled down, and had a hiinged "leg" with a padded tip that rested against the outside of the door, keeping the tray level. After you finished with your hot dog or burger and Coke or milkshake they'd collect the trays again. Maybe your car was unairconditioned but it was a lot cooler with all the windows open than the inside of the restaurant where only the doors could be propped open.

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