Fond Memories of the Cowtown Drive-In

By Pamela Key Vinton

From the time I can remember, which is from about age 2 1/2 years old, when JFK died and all of my parent’s friends came to the house with beer and food and sat glued to the television smoking Camels, Salems and God knows what else! (my parents were hippies of the day), I can remember going to the Cowtown Drive-In for entertainment.

Almost every single Saturday night, rain or shine, hot or cold we would load up with snacks, lawn chairs and a quilt. Being very young (my parents were still teenagers when I was born) it was the "thing" to do. If it was hot, the quilt would be placed outside the car, on the ground, and I would sit and play on it during the show. As I grew older, the quilt was placed on top of the roof of the car where I would perch. If it was cold, we would snuggle together in the huge front seat for the Featured film. The Cowtown always played the featured film first, and by the time the second film came on...I was usually sprawled across the back seat asleep.

When I was 15 years old, my parents owned a Mustang II. We went to the Cowtown, my 15 year old BFF in tow, to see Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Things started out ok with me and my BFF sitting on top of the quilt on the roof of the car...it was August...and it was Texas Hot in August. Probably about a thousand degrees outside, ergo way too hot to sit in the small backseat of a Mustang.

However, the movie became moderately scary and my BFF and I relocated to the "safety" of the backseat. Daddy, a former Golden Glove champion (once TKO'd a guy in the first round of a match) was sitting in the driver's seat with Momma at shotgun. The two front, and only, doors of the coupe were open and Daddy was leaning on the center console.

By now the movie was REALLY intense....the music was getting faster and louder...the whole bed was shaking with Linda Blair in it...the whole audience was leaning forward...watching with manifest passion...the Priest was calling up every source he could....and just when it became so unbearable and Linda's head spun around and she spewed forth green pea soup...I reached forward, ever so slowly... and grabbed my Dad's shoulders from behind!

The former Golden Glove Champ punched himself in the nose!

As he exited the car, blood spewed out from both nostrils and expletives spewed from his mouth.

The attention of the audience in the cars around us was immediately redirected from the luminous silver screen to the little brown Ford car.

As Daddy danced around outside the vehicle cussing his head off, Momma tried to sop up the blood with the napkins from the Cowtown Snack Bar.

My BFF and I remained true to our 15 year old mentality and were laughing hysterically in the backseat! 

Yeah...those definitely were the days at the Cowtown Drive-In Picture Show.