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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
Buck Night by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...

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Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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By Danny Batson
June 5, 2013 8:38 a.m.



Some of you might remember the famous "buck night" at the 65 Drive-In Theater. I remember my first movie growing up here in the midwest, it was Old Yeller.

Even the small towns had big screen movies on the sides of their buildings in my parents childhood. That would have been in the 30s and 40s. People would bring their own chairs or blankets and sat on the ground.

As a young child, I just couldn't wait for that Thursday night drive to the 65 Drive-In. You see they had a complete playground right in front of the big screen. That's where you would find me and my cousins all through the movies. It was better than the Simpson Park.

The merry-go-round was the most fun because you could lay on it and watch the movie as you went around. And after a night of continous spinning we would lose our hot-dog and Eskimo Pie we had just eaten every time. We would even fall asleep on the merry-go-round and our parents would have to come wake us up after the show.

The one thing we got in the most trouble for was playing in the light beam that projected the movie onto the screen. Every time we went to the bathroom or to the concession stand we just had to throw things up in the beam and watch the shadow on the screen. We would jump up and put our hands and heads into it and all the cars would honk their horns. We didn't think it was wrong because the bats flew through it too!

As I grew older, actually began to watch the movies. Dad would load us all up in the car and away we would go just a-screaming all the way. I know we got on his nerves because after we got there he would tell us to go play. You have to remember the cars did not have air conditioners back then so we would sit on top or in front of the car on those hot nights. We would bring chairs and set them up ahead of all the cars. A rainy night at the drive-in was a disaster.

Then, there were those cars on the back two rows that were always steamed over. As kids we wondered how in the world did they ever watch the movie! But, it didn't take us long to figure that out. We would sneak up on their cars and pound on their windows!

Later as a teenager, I had a car of my own. So it was my turn to take everyone to the drive-in. If it wasn't buck night, we would put a couple teens in the trunk and look so innocent as we drove up to the ticket booth. We never got caught but there were a lot that did.

A bit later girls popped into my life and the back two rows became the place to be. I better stop there and just say that the 65 Drive-In played a big part of my young life. Lots of good times to remember.

Today, I sit at home and watch the big screen TV with that same beautiful girl. Drive-In's are hard to find nowadays but my son found one in Rogers, Arkansas. He wants to take us---but I'm going to tell him Mom and I want the back row.

DB



 




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