Thursday, June 2, 2011
Forest Lane Reunion on Saturday will cruise down memory lane
More than 600 people in their 40s will pretend they're back in their 20s.
DALLAS In the '60s, '70s, and '80s, Dallas had its own personal version of American Graffiti on Forest Lane in North Dallas: a place for teens to cruise, show off their car, sneak a beer, maybe get lucky in love.
As with all good times, the cops eventually shut it down. Those who were there during its heyday have reached middle age -- just about the time nostalgia starts to kick in.
Which is how we got the Forest Lane Reunion, happening on Saturday with an expected attendance of more than 600 cars cruising the old strip, and live music at the unofficial headquarters: Tommy Terrific's Carwash at 3541 Forest Lane.
The event was hatched by David Marett, Mark Roberts, and Phillip Compton, who envisioned getting together with a few of their friends.
"We thought we'd get 10 to 15 people to run around and have some fun," Marett says. "Then people started sharing it on Facebook, next thing you know it's up on the Observer blog, and all of a sudden we had several hundred people."
Marett and Roberts have a history of staging auto-related events; they've been organizing the "Rockers & Mods" annual scooter vs. racer event for five years.
"I guess we should've anticipated we'd have a response like this because the car community is so much larger than the scooter community," he says. "I grew up as a car guy, my father loves cars. But it's not a themed event. It's finding other people like us, doing things we like to do."
Marett, who's 44, graduated from high school in 1985.
"Everybody had their cliques -- the jocks and the freaks and the car guys -- this was back when cliques really meant something," he says. "This was a crossroads for so many people in high school. I can still tell you about the girl I met and loved from Highland Park High School but it was never meant to be, a Romeo & Juliet story. It was a crossroads for all those high school kids for all those years, to cruise and meet people you didn't see every day."
The key area for cruising will run between Cromwell and Josey. Tommy's is between Webb Chapel and Josey.
"People can cruise to their heart's content, and we have a couple of parking partners with Firestone and Mobil One," Marett says. "If people want to come and hang out, we're fencing off Tommy's, that's our beachhead for the event. The city is not going to block the street off, but we're working with the police to make sure it happens."
To get into the Tommy's space, it's $5 per person at the door. The event starts at 7 p.m. More information is available at Cruise Forest. There's also a sympatico East Dallas cruise-in at Keller's the night before, with information posted here.
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