By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

There are moments where I miss “the old days” of Corsicana, or rather, my memories of growing up here as a kid and young adult.

I thought about that as I put together the Jack in the Box story over the weekend. I’m sure the new one will be bigger and shinier, and will do just fine when it opens, but there’s something to be said about the current one.

I was surprised to see 2023 would have been the building’s 50th anniversary, had it stayed open. I was equally surprised to see the retail area where it resides was once known as the “Golden Circle Shopping Center.” I saw that in other old ads. Growing up, I don’t recall anyone ever referring to the area as such, but it’s there.

I’ve been through the drive-thru a few more times than usual in the last few weeks. It was a regular hang out spot with my friends, many of which worked right across at Cinema IV. We’d hang out in the theater lobby, and would usually make a food run at some point during the night.

We even established our own form of currency. At the time, the “Jumbo Jack” sandwich was only a dollar, so my friends and I built an exchange rate around it. Buy a CD? Usually about 17-18 Jumbo Jacks. A new shirt? One of those could run you a good 30 Jumbo Jacks. A new car? Well, without an initial estimate, that was a whole bunch of Jumbo Jacks.

My friends and I did a lot of ridiculous pranks in that drive-thru, from creating documentaries to wearing ridiculous costumes we would briefly *ahem* “borrow” from Midway. What else were you going to do in a small town at 18-19 years old?

I still think about that from time to time when I’m sitting in the drive-thru, and I’ll chuckle about it, one of the few original places left from my youth. Sure, the ninja costumes have long been packed away (we were nothing if not creative), but there’s always a flash of some memory at just the right moment.

I’ve thought a lot about nostalgia in the last two years. The world has changed so much in a variety of ways for just as many reasons. My friends and I were ridiculous as kids, but it was definitely fun, and the local Jack in the Box wasn’t our only haunt as we drove up and down Seventh Avenue. The thing is, most of our old “haunts” are gone these days.

Nostalgia is a powerful tool. I realize that it’s not just a collection of stories. It was a specific time in our lives. Sometimes, nostalgia is more than just a memory.

Nostalgia is more about chasing a feeling.

Maybe it’s a want to return to simpler times, or about carrying less burdens, or just a moment where hanging out with a group of friends was all the adventure you needed. These days, nostalgia feels all the more tempting to follow on a frustrating day. It felt like things made more sense.

It’s not about “missing” a company, when technically the same place will just move across the street. I’m sure I’ll visit the new location at some point, but it won’t have the experiences associated with the lazy summer nights, and the string of in-jokes and references built for everything we did. Our specialty exchange rate is still referenced from time to time. I still think it holds more value than cryptocurrency, even after inflation.

For you readers, where was your “haunt?” Where did you have some of your own experiences? Is your place still around?

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