Claremore Daily Progress

July 23, 2011

Special Moments

Larry Larkin
Columnist

CLAREMORE — It seems like several local residents are keeping a constant watch as workmen have starting tearing down the old original high school building. 

Traffic around the block will probably increase as more noticeable progress takes place.

For the building’s former high school and then later junior high students and teachers, the old girl holds countless memories. 

Thinking about my top favorite high school moment started me to recall some other times at Claremore locations that have passed on.  Please join me in a little reminiscing.

At one time the town had three drive-ins with Roy’s, the Big Dipper, and Taste Freeze.  The Big Dipper may have had the best hamburgers and  Taste Freeze may have held the edge in milk shakes and malts.  Roy’s had the teenage crowd, however.

I can’t remember ever ordering food from there, but countless cokes were downed while watching the steady stream of cars circling the building. 

Then there was the rock boat house out at Claremore Lake.  The building still stands like a rock fortress. 

The only thing missing are the huge catfish heads hanging from the tree out front.  Many of those heads were bigger than a basketball.

On around the lake were Cherry Point and Beer Can Corner. 

Of course both locations are still there but today they are not as popular meeting spots for the young people at they once were.

When was the last time a downtown pep rally and bonfire staged the night before a high school football game?  

A “snake dance” would start in front of the school and end at the intersection of Will Rogers Blvd. and Cherokee.

What feature was showing at the Yale Theatre mattered little.  It was the hot popcorn popping at the concession stand and the giant drinks that counted. 

Flirting with the girls behind the counter was also nice.

Watching the main street parades from atop the Mason Hotel front porch was a treat.  Mr. Davis had yawn chairs out for his guests.  It was a perfect spot to take photos.  No parade was complete without the cadets of OMA.

Remember full-service gas stations and receiving Green Stamps and/or gifts when you gassed up, had you oil checked, tires aired up, and windows washed? 

Some places would even vacuum the crumbs off the floorboard.

For the male gender before the military draft ended, there is no way to forget going to the Post Office/Federal Building and signing up.   Turning 18 meant a trip would immediately follow. 

The building, located at the corner of Patti Page and Missouri, still looks the same.  The Post Office has moved twice, however.

A full suitcase of memories for sure, but the high school building tops the list for me.  It was there in the west end stairway between the second and third floors I kissed my future wife for the first time. It caused both of us to be late for our next classes.  I didn’t mind at all.