Editor’s Note: Growing Up in Bandera is available in book form! Contact the Bulletin today to get your copy!
The very idea of teens in the early 60’s going to town to drive up and down Main Street for hours probably sounds pretty boring to the teenagers of today. Well let me tell you I’m not real impressed with the art of texting back and forth all hours of the day and night as is the habit of the modern day generation. Don’t get me started on group texting. For us, dragging main back in the day was “the” social event for most evenings.
That was one of the ways we communicated back in earlier times and it was strictly a teen thing. A telephone party line was another and most widely used by teen girls and older women of the community. Eavesdropping wasn’t unheard of on those lines and offered a chance to add some spice to otherwise boring conversations as the acquired information was being relayed to inquiring minds.
When the teen boys weren’t dragging Main they could usually be found working on their vehicles. Baling wire for quick repairs was in ample supply here in the country but the need for jumper cables sometimes caused frustration. We often had to park our truck or car on a hill that was high enough to get our vehicle rolling fast enough so popping the clutch while in gear would give us a start. On flat land it would take a couple friends pushing by hand or someone with a matching height bumper giving a vehicle push to get it done. That kept us on the road until we could afford a new battery.
Cars and girls were always the main topics when the guys were gathered. Exaggeration and outright lies about exploits with either one were pretty common. To this day I’m not too sure which one I was the least educated about at the time. I do know that the modern styles and models of cars are way too much for me to keep up with even if I were so inclined. The same can probably be said about modern girls too. I’d be willing to bet that the young boys around here these days are just as clueless about what makes girls tick as we were back in the day.
I am eternally grateful that we had the Bantex Theater to occupy some of our idle time when we were out of school and not working or doing chores. If the river was stagnant due to a lack of rain we lost our summer swimming privileges until the next flood rescued us from boredom. Even with gas prices around twenty cents a gallon our dragging Main sometimes took a hit due to a lack of funds. Wintertime was especially bad due to a lack of hauling hay, mowing yards and other odd jobs being so scarce.
I have to say Growing Up In Bandera must have been easier back in the day. Even though the type of work we were exposed to was much harder than what I observe today we didn’t have to deal so much with the distractions of our modern world. The amount of peer pressure, drugs and social unrest is evident today even in our little old town of Bandera.