Friday, March 6, 2009

Facebook is the New "Scooping the Loop"

In 9th grade I moved from one small Iowan community to another. Each town had its own gathering places for teens. Leaving Charles City for Storm Lake I traded Teen Tavern, Ray's Pizza, the bowling alley and the Mall for Hardee's, The Villager, Conee Corner, Puffs and Chautauqua Park. In Storm Lake we had another unique asset to our social lives --- "Scooping the Loop." Anytime students were not in classes, their cars would follow (scoop) a circuitous path (the loop) through the center of town.

Here's how it went:

Heading south on Lake Avenue (the main street of businesses) we'd drive until we met the lake and take a left heading east on W. Lakeshore Drive. This took us past Chautauqua Park which bordered the lake. At the corner near Super America and Puff's we'd take another left to head north on Flint Drive. This four-lane street curved westwards and passed the high school which was on Tornado Drive. Flint Drive turned into Milwaukee Drive where it intersected with Lake Avenue. Again, another left kept us on the Loop and we'd start the route again. After a few times we'd take travel loop in reverse.

"Honk and Wave" was our mantra as we socialized from our cars. (I'll never forget the day my mom came home from driving my car. "What in the world are you up to in town?" she asked, horrified that so many people honked and waved at my car.)

These were the days before text messaging, cell phones and e-mail. With the exception of an intentionally planned party, our gatherings were of a more serendipitous nature. Should we see a friend while cruising the loop we would wait for them to meet us at one of our favorite places.

Facebook is the new "Loop." As I log on, I check the News Feeds, Status Updates, and Live Feeds. Who else is on? Who's clever and interesting today? Any new pictures? Anyone missing or long silent? I can write a quick note on a Wall, comment on notes or photos, or have private conversations via messages or chats. I can make a lunch date or attend the same event as other friends.

I would wager that those who find no need for Facebook probably wouldn't have spent much time "scooping the loop."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes! Scooping the loop! What memories... I scoop it whenever I'm back in SL but it's never quite the same...

Becky Anderson Roby