This past weekend, Google honored the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man.  Also, this weekend represented the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back.  With those  two things on my mind, I began to reminisce about the past, and remembering the world when I was a kid.  So, if you will permit me, for a moment, I’d like to just throw some things out there that I remember about growing up in Enid, and being a little kid in general.

First, let me talk about Pac-Man, since that is what sparked the trip down memory lane.  I remember when my family first got an Atari.  I was not very old, maybe four, and playing Pac-Man was a blast.  It was extremely difficult (for a four year old), but it was fun.  The parents would hook up the Atari on a Sunday evening, and we would all play together—as a family.  I think I just said about three things there that would be foreign in the modern world… a video game system that isn’t hooked up to the TV at all times?!  Video game playing limited to one night a week? How did we survive?  Doing something together as a family?

Oh, and Pac-Man wasn’t the only game.  Remember Combat? With its 1,800 games that were all so similar, yet, different.  Stampede, River Raid, Centipede… these were video games of my childhood.

Let’s see, while we’re on the subject of video games, I should mention the Eagle Arcade.  A memory unique to kids of Enid in the early 1980’s.  But, for me, what made the Eagle Arcade special wasn’t video games, it was their miniature golf course.   The first nine holes were on the bottom floor, the second nine holes were upstairs.  You could put your ball in that little vacuum tube and it sucked it up to the top level (which of course, was totally pointless, but it was still a fun idea).

Speaking of Enid establishments that are gone– how about Simpsons.  Simpsons Mercantile, just saying the name conjures the smell of leather to ones imagination.  Going to Simpsons and getting a bottle of coke was just one of those things I always loved.  (  Although, I will admit that I was always puzzled by the inexplicable “ski loft” upstairs.  How western wear and skiwear go together, I’m not sure).

Anyone remember the mall—back when it was cool?  The mall on a Friday night, wow, that place was hopping.  Tons and tons of people—everyone was there.  If you go there today, it’s almost hard to believe that at one time all those empty slots used to have stores in them.

How about the downtown Evans with Woolworths right next door, or Sears when it used to be downtown (with its massive double-decker parking garage).

Speaking of downtown, I remember when Tri-State was a really big deal.  People would come from all over the state (hmmm, I suppose a REALLY long time ago, people used to come from THREE states—thus the name, TRI-state).  The other day, I mentioned Tri-State to someone in Woodward, and they had no clue what I was talking about.

Of course, not all of my memories are unique to Enid.  I remember when the idea of “renting a movie” was a novel concept.  In a world with Netflix, it’s difficult to remember that there was a time when renting a movie was a rare event.  We’d pile into the car and go to our local video rental place (our family was partial to Express Video—another business that’s not around any more).  We’d spend about 30 minutes debating and trying to decide on one movie that we could all agree on and then go home and watch it… together!

Alright, I think I’ll stop there for now, I could probably go on for quite a while, but I thought I would see if anyone else had some to add.  Thanks for reading.