10 Things I Will Never Miss About Lubbock From ‘Back In the Day’
It's easy to get nostalgic and fall into the trap of thinking that things used to be better. Perhaps some things were, but I can assure you, many things were not. This includes my hometown of Lubbock, Texas.
There's so much that I remember fondly. Calling my burger in on a giant red telephone at Chelsea Pub when I was 5 years old . Walking for miles around the South Plains Mall with my friends in junior high. Seeing the best shows of my life at Liquid 2000 in high school.
But there was so, so much that absolutely sucked, y'all. And it doesn't make me a traitor to admit it. In fact, I am so incredibly proud of how far Lubbock has come. If we all had just mindlessly accepted things as they were, we would have never made the improvements that make Lubbock the wonderful place to live that it is today.
Here's a list of things I don't miss at all about Lubbock from "back in the day."
This one is obvious. The drive to the strip was a pain, and on a busy night there would be insane traffic and wait times. Sure, it looked like a mini-Vegas, but the aesthetic wasn't worth the hassle. A couple years back KCBD did a 10-year retrospective and they found that DWIs and PIs had actually gone down since in-town liquor and beer sales were made legal.
The Commercial for Homeplate Diner (See also: the commercial of KEJS 106.5)
Don't get it twisted; Homeplate Diner closing was a loss. Where else could your entire Little League team get chicken fried steaks? But the TV commercial was beyond annoying. It was "Homeplate Diner, Homeplate Diner" repeated ad infinitum. Somewhere in hell, it's still being repeated. I can hear it faintly, even now.
82nd Street Being the End of the World
When I was a kid, I lived near 90th and University. Where Tinseltown is now was a literal cotton field. I remember walking through the rows to get to the newly built United Supermarkets because it had a bakery. My husband grew up near 1585, which had no stop lights, making it incredibly dangerous. South Lubbock has since exploded, and there are plenty of businesses and a multitude of homes. It's kind of nice to see the grandfathered properties that still have horses.
Cigarette Smoke Literally Every Damn Where
I'm an asthmatic. Sometimes I'll take my chances and go to a smoking bar, but I always feel more hungover from the smoke than the booze the next day. In the 90s, every adult I knew smoked. They smoked everywhere, including in their homes. Everyone had multiple full ashtrays. It was disgusting and I'm glad we've gone past that as a culture. I'm really relieved we aren't smoking at actual restaurants anymore.
Wearing Black Was an Invitation to Proselytization
I think I was born a goth. I've always liked dark clothing and goth fashion. In Lubbock, wearing a black outfit used to make you a target for getting asked, "Do you know about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?" Having lived nearly my whole life in Texas, I certainly had. I got way worse, too. A substitute math teacher literally told me I was going to hell. An old man asked me which carnival I had escaped from. Even as a kid I knew these people didn't have my best interest at heart. They wanted carte blanche to bully someone, even a child. I don't have these problems anymore, and I never changed. Lubbock just got more worldly.
Everything Shutting Down Completely at 8 p.m.
This was a huge pain, and anyone who worked alternative hours had to plan around it. I'm not sure how my dad, who went to work at 4 a.m., ever survived. If you needed anything at all after 8, you had better hope you could buy it at a bar.
The Complete Dominance of Z102
Again, I'm going to have to ask you not to misunderstand me. I have a modest collection of old Z102 stuff I've gathered over the years, and I remember Z102 fondly for the most part. My hero who became my actual aunt was one of their morning show DJs. But when I was a kid, you had to like Z102. If you didn't, you were a complete dweeb. I preferred rock, so I was made fun of relentlessly.
Only the most basic movies coming to theaters. Few Asian food options. Malouf's was the only place to buy Dr. Martens, the coolest shoes at the time. Want a cool candle? You'll have to endure a Wicks N Sticks scent headache. I could go on forever in this category.
Every Dude Dressed Like Garth Brooks, 100 Percent of the Time
White tee, or for formal events, a pearl snap, always tucked into your jeans. Always jeans. Funeral? Jeans. Wedding? Jeans. Court appearance? Jeans. Your choice of a braided or branded leather belt. Cowboy boots or white sneakers. I'm so glad men own more than four articles of clothing now.
Downtown = Ghost town
Downtown is gorgeous by comparison to its former self. Lubbock finally came around to supporting arts, culture and high-quality dining. It not only shows, it shines.