They cruised 4th Avenue like it was 1988. Chairs were lined up. People stood against cars. The rain couldn’t even stop them.  

There were Camaro, Chevelles, Mustangs, old trucks, hot rods and even a couple of “Bandit’s” black Trans Ams and Herbie the Volkswagen Love Bug.  

Old friends came from all over. Hugs and handshakes from the 80s and COVID era fist bumps filled the air. Engines revved and stories and legends of old times were spread.  

It was a reunion from innocent times. Cruise Avenue….the 80’s…when gas was 99 cents a gallon and we had big hair.  

Of course there was always cars on Cruise Avenue, but Cruise Avenue wasn’t always about cars. It was a place to see friends and meet new friends. There was music, beer, and yes….cars.  

But mostly Cruise Avenue was about friends. It was people taking a break from school, work, or their routine lives and celebrating friendship.  

In the 80s, we socialized in many places. There was the boat docks and old parking lots. My Big Bear buddies and I drank beer in Big Bear’s parking lots.  

Wherever friends could meet…we did. Times have changed, because of the COVID pandemic and drug epidemic, the internet is safer. Social media is our new Cruise Avenue.  

Don’t get me wrong….Cruise Avenue wasn’t the Yellowbrick Road. There were fights, robberies, and a friend of mine got raped. But, today……no…. Today, Cruise Avenue couldn’t exist on a weekly basis.  

But, Huntington has the right idea. The Pullman Square Concerts, 9th Street Live, and events at Ritter Park and Heritage Station are good attempts to get people out of their houses and social media and do some some good old fashioned socializing. Face to face….. 

Kudos to Senator Maynard, Mayor Steve, and everyone who worked to get everyone together.  

We need more face to face conversations. We need more handshakes and fist bumps. We certainly need more hugs.

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