I looked forward to it as much as I did Christmas or my birthday. And as I recall, it happened just as often. Once a year.

It's the 1960's, and this coming Saturday night is the night. My Dad and Mom and me, along with our neighbors down the gravel road, Morris and Dorothy Van Peursem and Vernon (my best friend) would all pile into the car and off we'd go.

Destination: The Verne Drive-In, Luverne, Minnesota.

It seemed like it took forever to get there! After all, it was a good, strong 30 miles, maybe a bit less. Still, a good long way. And then you'd see it as we were coasting along through Luverne on Highway 75...the big screen. And I mean the BIG screen.

We didn't need to worry about the concession stand. Our parents had filled a garbage bag full of popcorn and we had kool-aid to last us through the movie. We were 'good-to-go' and ready for the big night!

But the real magic? The point where it all became...well, real?

That was when Dad (or maybe Morris, I'm a little fuzzy on who was driving) would roll down that window half-way and hang that magic metal box on it. A turn of the little knob and poof! That big 'ol cartoon popcorn box that was dancing across that huge screen was singing in our car! Those soda cups that were marching across that silver dream of a screen were marching to a tune we could hear in that Chevy Biscayne!

For some reason, the movie I remember us watching was the Walt Disney now-classic 'That Darn Cat'. And in the warm recesses of my memory, it was always a Disney movie. Back in the day, they were safe. And fun. And still live on in the bald head of a man who now carries some wrinkles and a slower gait then he used to.

Oh and the really good news? The Verne Drive-In is still open and showing great double features! And now, you don't have to hang those speakers on the window anymore!

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