I recently just moved back to my hometown, which to be honest has been a bit of a culture shock. The traffic, the racial breakdown, and the amount of just pure food has been pretty overwhelming after living three years in a small town where I regularly drove for miles through corn fields in the summer and cotton fields in the Fall. Last week, I literally did my writing hour in a coffee shop where there was not one black person. I realize a person in the “majority” race probably wouldn’t normally find this alarming, but it was bothersome for me. I’m used to a town that was full of cultural diversity with a high population of Native Americans, African Americans, and Anglo-Saxon Americans. Truly, I was really uncomfortable, enough to note it to my best friend. This is especially taxing because I’m currently reading Ta-Nehesi Coates new book Between the World and Me which makes me even more aware of racial boundaries and my need to start more discussions.
That being said, I’m definitely a small-town girl at heart, so I’m just going to have to make this new city, a bit more local.
To do this, I’ve enlisted the help of my #adventure partner, my boyfriend, BJ. We like to explore anywhere we go and now I’m going to newly explore my home(city)town. Sunday night we went to a local drive-in theater. We had been looking for drive-ins since January. This was an experience. First, we were three hours early because I thought the ticket booth opening time was the time of the first movie. Even better, we got to explore the tiny town of Kittrell, NC, very close to Henderson, NC.
We found a hidden Confederate Soldier Cemetery. During the Civil War, a hospital was placed there due to the city’s closeness to the railroad. With all the recent news about the confederate flag and the moving and honest speech by Representative Jenny Horne, this little cemetery was a sort of quiet oasis on the side of a dirt road. It was hidden behind broken-homes and nudged next to a railroad. Some of the grave stumps were just beaten rocks, or stone slabs without any data. Then, there were three marble stones for unknown soldiers, and a few family plots like the Blackwells. Near the cemetery is the Saint James Episcopal Church (c. 1860), which helped with wounded soldiers and gave Christian burials to those that died in the Kittrell (hospital) Hotel.
We, of course, took too many photos on the railroad tracks. (And no disembodied spirits there).
Then, we were right on time to see Minions and Jurassic Park on the big screen. Two features for only seven dollars and a radio station that shares the sound with your car. Next time, we’ll probably pack pillows and comforters for the truck bed, but we were rookies this time. Also, I’m pretty embarrassing. You can see it all over BJ’s face.
And obviously, because if you go to an old school drive-in, you need old school (as in childhood) eats and drinks, so we stopped at a gas station for a glass jar YooHoo. 230 calories a glass, I didn’t get a box of candy. I wasn’t trying to take the drive-in tummy ache too far. (I did eat Mozzerella Sticks from the concession stand though because, hello, you have to).
Not only did we get TWO features, but before the first movie, they played a Mickey Mouse technicolor. It was a perfect night with a stale breeze and windows down. I laughed at minions in thongs and tipped the truck seat back. Only 45 minutes from Raleigh, this is a true find. I highly recommend finding a drive-in near you even if your car is far too lived-in (Sorry, Mom).