Letter: Greg Dinkins

From: Greg Dinkins


I was saddened to learn that Becker’s Drive-In was closing. The sign reads, “Thanks For The Memories.” But more appropriately, we, the public, thank you for the memories.

The “Root Beer Stand,” as I have called it for over 60 years, was part of my life and many fond memories. My first visits were with my parents in the early 1950s when Mom didn’t want to cook dinner. (My brothers and I relished those nights so we could go to The Root Beer Stand and have a coney dog, fries and a mug of root beer. Later in life, when I was old enough to not require a baby sitter and had access via a bike, when Mom and Dad were going out on an evening they would give me $1 (yes, to you younger people, that is $1) to go buy my dinner. I rode my bike to Becker’s and bought a coney dog, fries and a 5-cent mug of root beer. (I still had change, even after a small tip. But that was when gas was 18 cents a gallon.)

Later in life, when I was old enough to drive a car and have a little more money from mowing lawns, Becker’s Drive-In was my destination resort for a coney dog, fries and (inflation setting in) a 10-cent mug of root beer.

I also remember Becker’s as the place the football team would go in August, before school started, between two-a-day practices to get a quart of root beer. It was in a cone-shaped container. I think it was, like, 50 cents. (Again, I mention gas was about 20 cents a gallon at that time.)

We have lost a lot of drive-in places due to the change in preferences as cultures change over time. But the drive-ins provided my generation with a lot of special memories. In high school, cruising to see if your friends were there. Going for a late night snack with your date before you had to meet curfew at home. And sometimes, when you were a little short of cash, dropping your date off early so you could both meet curfew and go to have that late night coney dog, fries and root beer. Those were the days. Thank you to the Becker family for providing me with so many fine memories and great food.

You will be missed. But thank you for all the memories you have given to all the people of Columbus.