Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why I Remember Back In The Day ...

So, I'm on my daily lunch-hour driveby of local blogs when I notice that The Eleventh Hour has taken my LincolnFest rant to a whole new level. He poses the question:

Overall, is Springfield a better place than it was 20 or 30 years ago ... or a worse place?

Damned fine question ... and it really got me thinking.

First off, I'm in my mid-thirties. Therefore, my only contribution to a discussion about the evolution of Springfield since 1976 would involve a comparison of the ninth level of hell which is Chuck E. Cheese versus the nirvana that was Showbiz Pizza Place. Remember Showbiz? Remember?

But no matter how my heart aches for LincolnFest (and that enormous cake they served one glorious year), I'd have to admit that, overall, we're better off than we were twenty years ago.

Reasons Why Springfield Is Better

MTV - Sounds simple, kids ... but for years while people in Bloomington were rocking out to the Buggles, we were stuck watching Night Tracks.

Chain Restaurants - Sure, we're fed up with Xerox restaurants like Applebees and Outback now ... but twenty years ago, we were forced to eat the shit they serve at Chesapeake Seafood House because there was nothing else. (Shut up ... Chesapeake sucks and you know it.)

The Presidential Museum - Oh yeah, the tourists are going to get tres' annoying ... but the scratch they bring in will fill quite a few potholes.

Shopping - Okay ... wait. You think I've lost my mind, right? But I remember a time that there were only corn fields across the street from K-Mart on Wabash. Seriously ... I must be old as dirt ... cause I remember what an enormously big deal it was when they were first building White Oaks. Aside from that, we've gained Lowes, Best Buy, Menards, ShopCo, Target, and Walmart ... on the other hand, we've lost 84 Lumber, Venture, Capitol Records, and Woolworths ... where was I going with this again?

Movies - Damn ... why wasn't stadium seating invented twenty years ago? I've gotta admit ... Showplace 12 kicks ass all over that little one-screen matchbox that used to be out at Capital City Shopping Center. Remember that place???

Reasons Why Springfield Is Worse

The Mansion Burned Down - No ... this wasn't in Springfield but it affected us just the same. I loved the Mansion ... I saw a lot great music out there. One time we were trying to get out of there at like two in the morning ... and my friends car got stuck in the mud. So just about then these guys came up ... um ... nevermind ...

LincolnFest ... LincolnFest ... LincolnFest Goddamn It! - That's it ... I have nothing else to say that I haven't already said about this topic. No wait ... one more point. LincolnFest was a relatively small event ... seriously ... the footprint of the festival was not that big. You can't tell me Springfield's finest couldn't keep a lid on the mischief. I'm starting a grassroots movement ... bring back LincolnFest.

The Pasteurization of Springfield - As happy as I am to have someplace to eat besides Chesapeake, common ... things are pretty bland around here. Seems like I remember the Mall being a pretty fun place to hang out at one time ... now, a good chunk of the interesting stores are closed. Remember when we had toy stores at the Mall? K.B. Toys anybody? Remember the Disney store? Remember Sam Goode? Let's go way back ... remember Aladdin's Castle back when it was downstairs? When it wasn't skeeball hell? When there were video games?

So yeah ... we're probably better off. Not that I'll enjoy it. After re-reading this post I realize that I sound like Grandpa Simpson ... and I'm too damned depressed to enjoy anything.

And the white line's getting longer
And the saddle's getting cold
I'm much too young to feel this damn old
All my cards are on the table
With no ace left in the hole
I'm much too young to feel this damn old

Garth Brooks - Much Too Young


  1. I've never had a good meal at Cheasapeake, but I was always too afraid of speaking out for fear of being ostracized by my peers. Thank you for having the strength to say what a lot of people have been thinking. (BTW: the best seafood in Springfield is the yellow fin tuna at Indigo.)

    The worse thing about Springfield today is no Chick-Fil-A.

    The best thing might be the American Music concert this Saturday. It's a very compelling line-up of acts. I saw Sarah Borges in Boston last week and she can kick it.


  2. That's why I put the "shut up" comment on the post ... I was prepared for a dozen people to get on here screaming "Blasphamy!" LOL

    I miss Chick-Fil-A too ... common ... if Springfield is worthy of an iHop, surely we're worth of Chick-Fil-A! Invite 'em back, White Oaks!