Back in the 60s, one of the most common thing for us kids in high school to do after school was to “make the drag”. That meant riding around down east on Broadway until we got to Ray’s Drive In (pictured) which was one block east of Hailey. They had a way to turn in, and go through the parking lot so you could then get back on Broadway and go west to the Square.
Making the drag was a way for us to connect. It was our way of “surfing the web” if you will. It was a way of seeing who all was out, seeing who all was up for something like getting a soft drink, getting a burger or just meeting up to ride together making the drag. Of course, when I made the drag, you have to acknowledge each other and usually meant a friendly wave. We would ride up and down Broadway waving at each other like it was the first time we had seen each other all day. I don’t know how many times waving qualified as you didn’t have to wave anymore, but it was several.
Riding around the square, making the drag, however you described it, was a time to get out of the house, leave any and all problems behind, and just enjoy the outdoors and all that entails. At one point, someone figured out that instead of going around in circles, why not just park at the Village and watch people drive by? It took much less work, and saved money on gas. Of course, technically it was loitering, and Sweetwater’s finest had to drop by occasionally to make sure everyone was behaving themselves. I have to say we kids mostly behaved ourselves so we didn’t abuse the privilege of our freedom.
Making the Drag proved that you didn’t have to be in a town with tons of things to do. You just had to have a car, a driver’s license, and the motivation to network. I’m not sure Making the Drag world work in today’s world. I think people today just go to Facebook.
Lew Patton is a former resident of Sweetwater who now resides in Fort Worth. Comments about this column may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org . Lew’s blog can be found at www.lewpblog.com .