Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In an era of snarky exchanges and in which trolls rule the lower reaches of comment sections on blogs and Internet sites it’s terrifically heartening to follow the discussion thread on what is becoming an extraordinary Facebook group about Carroll.

As of presstime more than 1,100 people have joined a Facebook group named “If you grew up in Carroll, you remember …”

 It’s brimming with affection for Carroll.

Sure, there may be a few sarcastic posts, an occasional hater or agenda-grinder in there. But this is a place where people with a love affair with Carroll meet virtually and post memories, some from just weeks ago, some across the decades. It’s quite remarkable, really.

So if you are on Facebook, the supremely popular social networking site on the Internet, stroll by this Carroll group. Based on the demographic of Facebook users in the group the site is a little heavy on 1980s references. But with a strong contingent of older Carrollites in the group there are some posts that stretch past this 41-year-old’s memory.

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll find at “If you grew up in Carroll, you’ll remember …”

“I remember when KISS took their makeup off. Two of my older sisters begged my mom to take them to Gibson’s to buy Teen Beat or some other teen magazine so they could see them.”

“When we walked the mile home in the dead of winter, we stopped at Brenny’s to warm up and then again at Pauline’s Cafe to use the hand dryer in the bathroom.”

“Tony’s Restaurant.”

“Parties at the grassy.”

“I remember hanging out in Sernetts parking lot with friends, waving at all the people cruising the drag.”

“Being a fashion model for Maurices and Brass Buckle fashion shows.”

“Steve Frank running the Pizza Hut.”

“Do you remember Star Drug with the big gate in front of the building?”

“My favorite places ... The skating rink, Jung’s Bakery, drive-inn theater, and that little candy store in a house basement walking home from Holy Spirit.”

“When mopeds were cool, now you don’t see a one! I had a ‘83 red Honda.”

“What about On Cue? That was the best place to get new CDs.”

“Anyone remember detasseling? We were herded into the back of a truck in the courthouse parking lot, drove what seemed like hours to fields where we literally used corn shucks after going to the bathroom in the fields. No porta potties back then! Then we were returned to the courthouse in the late afternoon to walk home muddy and dirty because back then no one could pick you up when you were through.”

“Waiting at the courthouse parking lot at 5 a.m. to be picked up by an old school bus to go detasseling when I was 14. Unfortunately that year the corn was very tall and I couldn’t reach the tassels without pulling down each stalk one by one.”

“How about the Brown Derby restaurant? I worked there a long time ago. The building is still there and now is apartments in the upper half and offices located in the lower area. I also remember riding the ‘drag’ and lots of cars and kids being at Little Duffer.”

“Road-tripping on every gravel road in the county.”

“Magic marker bandits.”

“How about the double decker bus? I remember being excited to sit in the top, riding around Carroll, in I think kindergarten.”

“Being a live model downtown (sitting in a window in a dress all made up).”

“How about Anderson’s Dairy — yummy ice cream.”

“One day after school, riding the bus home, this one guy was causing too much commotion on the bus, the bus driver told him more than once to stop it. This guy kept it up until the bus driver got fed up with him and stopped the bus about 3 miles west of Lidderdale on a gravel road, and told him to get off the bus and walk home.

“This guy told the bus driver he was not getting off the bus out in the middle of nowhere and walking home. The bus driver told this guy the bus will not move until he got off of it. This guy finally did get off the bus, telling the bus driver his father was going to sue the school over this, and how he was 8 miles from his home. The bus driver told him he should have thought about that when told to stop horsing around.”

“Meter maids and Dairy Stripe (and of course being able to ride on an open tailgate to and from).”

“The cigarette vending machine in the doorway of the Red Carpet restaurant 75 cents. Glad I don’t smoke anymore.”

“Sledding at Rolling Hills in the winter.”