Was High School anything like American Graffiti?

Kathee and I watched American Graffiti last night. This is a thoroughly entertaining film with a lite plot but a great soundtrack. It is set in late Summer 1962 in Modesto, California. The film was released back in August of 1973 just before Kathee and I got married. We probably saw this first on a date way back when.

Some images from the film:

Kathee asked me last night if we "cruised" in High School.  Two obvious differences between my High School experience and the movie: 1.) 5 years; 2.) California not Ohio. As for the rest see my answers below.

So how much or not much was my own High School experience like American Graffiti? I've got my 50th reunion coming up so now is a good time to reflect. Interestingly I made the decision last night to attend the reunion coming up in September in Cincinnati OH.

  • First about cruising? Gas was so cheap - as I recollect it was always about 31 cents a gallon, but money was tight and cars got terrible mileage. I only drove in my Junior and Senior years. I always had to ask Dad for the keys and always had to fill up the tank. The car was a 1960 Nash Metropolitan (black and white). Hitch-hiking was a way to get around (say after staying late after school). 
  • There's a good HS "dance - hop" scene in American Graffiti. They got that right! 
  • The "drive-in". We had Sandy's (like a McDonalds), Big Boy, and LaRosas. Our reunion has a night scheduled at LaRosas (same location but has been rebuilt)

  • I don't remember any girls looking like Suzanne Somers or Candy Clark. None of the guys looked like Harrison Ford either
  • Gangs: There were some toughs near Western Hills High School. I was roughed up at a Sandy's and gave it back. It was a draw!
  • We didn't have Wolfman Jack but we did have WSAI

  • The powerful epilogue: Yes classmates died in car crashes and in Viet Nam

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