Bolivar, Missouri
Back in 1967 Bolivar, Missouri's population was 3,512. Almost everyone living there at that time knew each other. Drugs were virtually non-existent. There were two cops in town, one of them lovingly named Barney. If you got in trouble your parents would always find out, not from the cops, but from one of the parents who knew you. Two-parent households probably accounted for 99.9+% of the total population.

There was no McDonalds, there was the Penguin...a much classier place to hang out with guy carhops like Allen Hines & David Hampton who broke the glass ceiling going the wrong way;) plus the Dairy Queen where you could get a free malt if there was a special stamp on the bottom of the cup. There was no Walmart. Instead, there was Blue's Dime Store, Rexall, Jester's, Lou's Good Drugs, Hegle's, Long's Bolivar Hardware, Stanley Shoe Store, Hacker's, Braithwait's, Tate's Jewelry, Newport's Ben Franklin, Shelenhamer Motor Parts, Chuck's Auto Supply and Western Auto, all of which eventually faded away to be replaced by Walmart. So much for progress. You could grab breakfast or lunch at The Nifty, and Ripples Highway Cafe served a huge plate of meatloaf, potatoes, green beans and a roll for a buck. And let's not forget the evil Bolivar Tavern that most likely was there before the Baptists, otherwise it would not have been there;)

Driving around the square with one stop light to contend with, then out to the Penguin was standard crusin' fare. At school we had a lunch hour (a REAL hour, 60 minutes!) that was often spent at Wade's Supermarket down from the high school where Hostess cupcakes and chips constituted a healthy meal often accompanied by Marlboros. Almost all of the senior class had jobs, either with a local business, mowing lawns or haulin' hay where three cents a bale was considered great money. The Lucky 13 Drive in got a lot of our hard earned cash, except when we stashed people in the trunk on Buck Night.

KBLR radio had recently added an FM sister station KLTB that broadcast in STEREO! The rare crime typically amounted to something very petty. Murder was something that happened in New York. Hardly anyone locked the doors to their homes, some even left keys in their parked cars. Garage doors were often left open and noboby tried to take anything. Wow, what a great place to grow up in.

Bolivar is still a wonderful place to live with a population that now exceeds 11,000, but the sweet hometown ambiance is long gone. However, the memories of those innocent times still resonate in our hearts and souls and we do our best to share them with our grandkids.

©All rights reserved - Corvettes Unlimited of America - Design by Hampton Productions, LLC