The summer is officially here.  It's hot, there are kids everywhere, and you know what that means. When we were kids, we tried to get out of the house as much as possible. Sometimes we were stuck in the backyard, but if you got to go hangout somewhere, it was awesome! Here's a few places I remember hanging out at in the 80's and 90's.

1.  The Wheel Thing. 

The new building is amazing, don't get me wrong. But the old Wheel Thing, before it was destroyed in the tornado a few years ago, was iconic. I remember going for lock ins and sometimes staying all night.  I didn't really skate very well (or at all), but I could on the carpet! So really, I just played the video games and sat around with a pizza slice. I think there were a couple times I called to get picked up if I got bored. Do they still do the lock ins, or is that not kosher these days?

2.  Liberty Pool. 

I went to Liberty so much as a kid that the water literally colored my hair blonde. It was a routine. Mom would go to the nice lady's house down the block from my grandmother and straighten up the house in exchange for my sister getting a piano lesson from her. I'd sit in the living room and watch Mr Roger's Neighborhood or Romper Room or Reading Rainbow, whatever was on that was kid friendly. Then, we'd pack ourselves up, head to Liberty, and go nuts. Mom would hang out with the other moms in the little side kiddie pool, who were all lathered in baby oil and getting a suntan. I'm pretty sure there was a cassette Walkman with a tape of Van Halen in it. I don't think there was much supervision. It's a wonder we didn't crack our heads open or something.

3.  Sedalia Public Library. 

Those big steps in front of the Carnegie Building were a place where kids I knew would convene from time to time. It was convenient for us to  meet our friends from Sacred Heart there after school. But we'd hang out there in the summer, too. I remember a few times hiding in the bushes and such around the building and playing hide and seek. I also remember going down to the children's section in the basement and hiding from the adults.  As a teenager in the nineties we would meet there and loudly tell each other jokes that we thought  were dirty, but.. really, they weren't.

4. State Fair Cinemas. 

This was definitely the place to be if you were a kid in the nineties. I remember the long line for the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Everybody knew the guy who ran the place, Seth. He didn't take much nonsense, so most of us kids weren't too obnoxious. I mean, sure, did I pay in rolled up pennies a few times? Yeah. But walking down the long, darkish tunnel to your movie after being dropped off by your Dad was a feeling of independence that only a kid can appreciate. There were a few dramatic conversations outside when kids would wait for their parents to come pick them up, though.  I saw so many great eighties and nineties movies there. Home Alone, The Lion King, Karate Kid III... oh, wait.

Hangingly yours,


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