Monday, July 03, 2006

Hangouts: The Skipper

Harrelson coming out of the Dairy Diner with a coke (probably for a SPO member). Note the Skipper in the background.

I know there are a ton of stories here from the 50's & 60's...gotta be! Break-ups...first dates...getting pinned...fights...plots hatched...I can recall a sea of cars and kids, the old aluminum trays on the car windows from curb service, french fries, burgers, many girls in one car we were sitting on each others' laps...some girls had pledge boxes with sticks of gum, running up to cars asking if they wanted gum...clove gum was in high demand...squeal-outs on the highway. When did the Skipper open & when did it end (as a drive in)...was it a fire?


Anonymous B.J. said...

I seem to remember that the Skipper was in a different building during the late 60's. I think the first one had curb service and was much neater than the second one, which was right next to the first one. I don't know why it changed buildings, but at the second one you had to go inside and sit in the booths instead of being served in your car. I can remember eating soft-serve ice cream in a cone and listening to "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. There were pinball machines at the back that the boys like to play. The main drag was from the Skipper, up the road that went by the hospital, down Dillard, right on Forrest, left on Arkansas down to Washington, right on Washington down to the Dog N Suds, then all the way back again. We passed carloads of other kids along the way. That's where you drove to see and be seen on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. It was such fun! R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Mon Jul 03, 09:09:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

I have been searching in vain for a photo of the original Skipper. It was bigger than the later incarnation - and I do remember going inside to eat (red checked table cloths and prize fish mounted on the walls). The menu had more selections in the original Skipper - I seem to remember fried chicken and fried shrimp as well as those delicious burgers. I think that a lot of people wanted to eat in their cars because that was NEW and different (compared to any prior decade), and America was in LOVE with its cars and the independence and mobility they gave us. I am pretty sure the original Skipper burned down...1960? 1962? not sure exactly when. The second one was still a magnet for teens, but not as large or as cool as the original.

Your description of the "cruising route" was right on, B.J. I remember commenting to a friend that I didn't understand why adults stayed home at night and didn't go riding around in their cars! I said I wouldn't be that way when I became an
(Paul G.)

Tue Jul 04, 11:02:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vividly recall the original Skipper being in place the late Summer of 1964. I have some memories of the Summer of 1965 it being there but less sure of that than I am of 1964.

Tue Jul 04, 03:15:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Skipper was still in business around 71. I helped Dr. Phillips around his vet office at that time and remember something they called a Frito Chili Pie. All they did was to open a small bag of Fritos, pour some chili down in the bag over the chips and sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and give you a spoon. They went out of business a short time later and then reopened in the mid '80s until a fire closed it for good. It was never the choice location to hang out, as Faupel's had become the location of choice. Faupel's had better food and a much larger parking lot. Pea gravel and lots of it.

Thu Jul 06, 07:14:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Hmmmm...still trying to piece together the history of the Skipper...I think there were at least three incarnations and two fires. The original Skipper did have very good food and was quite popular with families and adults as well as teens. I believe the next two incarnations were more teen oriented. Faupel's was also a major "stop" on the cruise about town in the late 60s - and had the best donuts I ever tasted...until Crispy Creme.

Fri Jul 07, 09:15:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous walter cox said...

Warren Faupel was my uncle. He was married to my father's sister, Onice. I thought the food at Faupel's was the best. I never thought it really caught on with the teenage crowd during my time in Forrest City. I graduated from FCHS in 1960. It was a great place to grow up.

Sat Jul 08, 08:51:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

The Skipper was a fun place to go for a burger and coke after the movies on Friday or Saturday nites. But remember "The Corral" after the ballgames? Some of the finest victory parties were had there--(when we had a victory)! The jukebox had the latest songs and we could all dance--we would dance if we could get the guys to join in! Most of us girls had to dance together--then it was common.

Sat Jul 08, 09:59:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we should distinguish between the OLD Skipper and the Newer one. Kids younger than about 54 would recall the newer Skipper. When the newer Skipper came into being in a different building, the high school kids had shifted a lot of activity to Faupel's by that time.

Sun Jul 09, 09:35:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Old or new, the manager of the Skipper would always have an ample serving of fries to go with the burger--he would have loved to have provided everyone with as much fries as they wanted if they would only bring their own ketchup!!

Tue Jul 11, 03:02:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Forrest City said...

I can remember the old Skipper. The best onion rings in town. It was owned by a man named Jim. I dont remember his last name. My family would go there when I was a child.The car hops wore black pants and white shirts. I can also remember a car hop with the name of Opossum. Why I remember that I do not know! Then in High school, I hung out at the skipper and up on the hill at the Judge's house. Those were the days!

Thu Jul 13, 03:34:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Forrest City said...

Rosemary, when I think of the Skipper I think of your house that was home to all of your friends. I can still hear Judge Hargraves saying, " Dora, move your car out of my parking space!". I loved him!

Thu Jul 13, 03:36:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up on Virginia Circle right up the hill from the Skipper. Possum was the carhop to have if you ate in your car... delicious family style food, the tables with the aluminum legs, checked cloths, black and white waitress uniforms...everybody was there! Weren't the lights sort of a green color outside around the roof? Then there was a fire...they built the little concrete block Skipper. I was almost old enough to drive, so I talked my mother into letting me drive down there with my best friend in the front seat with mama said she promised to get in the floorboard in the back while we went in for what was supposed to be for JUST A FEW MINUTES....Do you know when we FINALLY went back to the car, she had kept her promise!!! Bless her heart...

Thu Jul 13, 07:54:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

The Skipper, like so many other teen hang outs required a great deal of ketchup! I'll bet the proprieter would have given us all the french fries we wanted if only we would provide our own ketchup!
By the time we finished the fries in the basket, the paper would be soaked--but it would be empty!

Fri Jul 14, 09:42:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Paul said...
I appreciate the details folks are remembering about the inside of the original Skipper. I seem to remember wood paneling on the inside with some prize fish (I think one was a huge largemouth bass?) mounted on the wall - maybe some photos too? Was there not also a small "banquet room" in the back? And YES! I do remember some kind of lighting around the roof - which, to a kid gave the Skipper a sort of "Christmas-like" excitement even on hot summer nights in August.

Sat Jul 15, 06:01:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know who had the kind of mother who would sit in the floor board for you & wait while you went in a teen hangout! WOW...she deserves teen mom of the decade award!

Mon Jul 17, 01:58:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Butch Ford said...

That Mom had to be Maribeth's mother. Charles and me, too. When Charles and I went off to school and got married within a few years of each other, baby sister became virtually an only child. That sounds like something my mother would have done for her. Maribeth was only a little spoiled, but she grew out of it pretty well. The Skipper was also my mother's most favorite place to eat (other than Goldsmith's Restaurant). The Skipper had terrific barbeque. It was sliced and very tender. Yep, they did pile on the fries and the interior was very cramped and lined with pine paneling. The owners would close up and go to Florida for a whole month during the winter. Bummer. My mother loved to stop there and eat in the car. Later on, in the my high school years, the Skipper was one of the main stops on the loop and right across the parking lot from the Dairy Diner. Kids would park at either and walk back and forth. Possum Johnson was the carhop you didn't give any lip. We believed she could have whup just about any guy on the lot. Mike Deaderick always ordered a grilled pimiento cheese sandwich. When Possum brought back a regular grilled cheese, his complaint was met with some choice expletives and a graphic description of what she would do with the sammich. He ate the grilled cheese with no further comment. He'll deny it, but nobody crossed Possum.

Fri Jul 28, 09:07:00 AM 2006  

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