GREENVILLE — Cruising Broadway is expected to be featured again this weekend in Greenville.
Mayor Steve Willman said a committee, comprised of street crew members and a couple of police officers in addition to himself, met Thursday morning to decide on finding a way to space the vehicles out during the cruising.
“It will not change too much,” he said after that meeting. “The street department is making a map of the route and we’ll put out that map for it.”
That map, the mayor said, will keep the cruisers from going around the circle as much, using the side streets more to avoid congestion in that area.
“We’ll put the lights on flashing and block off some side streets,” Willman said.
He said the cruising group has been cooperative.
“We can’t let this get out of hand and we don’t want to stop it,” he said. “Keep social distancing, don’t stop to talk to people. This grew so quickly and that’s good. We’ll check it each week and make improvements as we go along. Cruising is 7 to 10 p.m.”
Jennie Sharp of the Broadway cruising group remarked on their Facebook page, “First I’d like to welcome all our new members. Thank you all for joining the group. Last Saturday was such a phenomenal turnout that led to several issues. First and foremost, let me repeat, it is a huge hazard and against the law to block any driveway or intersection. Honking horns is also improper use of your vehicles equipment and is a ticket-able offense. Peeling tires is the legal term and that is against the law as well.”
She went on, “The City of Greenville has contacted our group and wanted to assist us with the trafficking issues. So I am asking that you all keep an eye out for a post before the weekend with directions from the City of Greenville with how they’d like the flow of traffic to go because they and the mayor are on board with our cruising and don’t want to shut us down but we all must be willing to obey these simple rules which have already been laws for years and to follow their route plan.”
In the original newsprint story on cruising Broadway the week before, it was estimated that the tradition was there earlier than the 1960s as a few guessed.
However, at least two men said it was done earlier than that; one who said it was in the 1940s and another one who remembers doing it in the 1950s.
Charlie Lane called Connie Stollar to let her know: “I cruised Broadway in 1944 with JR Huber. One time cruising Broadway, I turned from Third Street right onto Broadway and a cop, then on foot, blew his whistle and stopped me. He had me back up onto Third Street and get out of the car. He then told me, ‘Read that sign’ and pointed to a sign that said, ‘No Right Turn’.”
Lane laughed saying, “He let me go with only a warning, but I was shaking in my boots because at the time I only had a learner’s permit and I had Indiana license and plates on the car.”
“Charlie was driving his first car, a 1933 Chevy Coupe,” Stollar said. “Charlie said, ‘We’d cruise Broadway and then end up in the basement of the Maid-Rite drinking with AP Wright and Tom Hunt. It was always a fun times’.”
During that time period, Lane said there was a little bar just north of Coletown along the creek.
“We would go out and take the curve too fast and then go to the little bar,” he recalled.
Lane said he graduated from a country school southwest of Union City in 1946.
“We lived on a 160-acre farm,” he said to Stollar. “We were always out of school about the first of April because all of us farmed. Shortly after graduation, I went to work for Manix Brothers in July of 1951 and worked for Bob Manix for 40 years until I retired and started my own business, Lane Trucking.”
Jackie Dawson said that her husband, Joseph L. Dapore, 81, had a response to the 1960 referral as to the start of cruising there.
“I read the Broadway cruise article in the April 19 paper,” he said. “I remember a handful cruising on Saturday nights in 1952. When I got my ‘51 Ford in 1956, we had between 25-30 cars on both Friday and Saturday nights. Thank you for a really good article and pictures.”
Dawson added, “When we participated the other night, we tried to recall what stores were where. Had Booker’s book to help out.”
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.