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Beam Me Up!
It is rare to see searchlights these days. I guess it's more effective for a TV spot or cheaper to Tweet.
By: PT Dilloway on September 4, 2013
Beautiful, Stephen. I haven't seen a searchlight in years, but I never noticed their demise until now.
By: Kerry on September 4, 2013
I can't remember the last time I saw a searchlight. It must have been in my childhood.
By: David Walston on September 4, 2013
There was a car dealer in our town that used those search lights all the time :)
By: The Bug on September 4, 2013
Searchlights are cool. This post reminds me of the story I read online about a skyscraper in London that's melting cars.
By: Michael Offutt on September 4, 2013
Yeah...when did they stop doing that? Used to be multiple beams moving all around. Can't say we ever followed them to their source though...but they were cool. We called them Klieg lights. Is there a difference?
By: Cranky on September 4, 2013
we've had a few use them locally over the last few years, but they're rare.
By: TexWisGirl on September 4, 2013
I remember all those searchlights, circling the sky...
By: fishducky on September 4, 2013
We have them here once in a while. but not often enough any more.
By: mimi on September 4, 2013
I grew up in the exact same era as you and I are the same age but you seem to have a much more detailed memory. I do, however, remember some of the things you mention in this post. Nickle candy bars, hot, sticky summers with barbeques and cold watermelon. You don't see those beacons any more? They are still used for grand openings and such here in Kansas. Probably as so little happens here, they need to draw attention to it when it does. I lived in Chicago when in 1955 the first franchised McDonalds opened in Des Plains, IL I remember as a little girl, my dad taking us to the restaurant with the arches. It was all so exciting then.
By: Cheryl P. on September 4, 2013
You're right. Those searchlights were fun to follow down to their source. I have't seen one in years. I wonder where old searchlights go to die? :(
By: Scott Park on September 4, 2013
I remember searchlights! They were cool!
By: Kathe W. on September 4, 2013
I'd actually forgotten about searchlights. It's been that long since I saw one. How wonderful that you and your family would go to the source of the light. Keep looking for it. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on September 4, 2013
I'd forgotten about searchlights! I always associated them with car dealerships.
By: Pixel Peeper on September 4, 2013
I saw some a few years ago up here. Not sure what was going on but they were splaying across the sky. Of course, it IS Fargo, after all. ;)
By: Rita McGregor on September 4, 2013
I'm pretty lucky. I've seen spotlights plenty of times. They still used them in NYC sometimes (at least in the 80s and 90s), and they use them here in Egypt for store and club openings. Unlike you, I've never (intentionally) followed one to its source. They're prettier from distance. I loved hearing about your childhood and your desire to "beam up." Great post!
By: Lexa Cain on September 4, 2013
In the old days airports had light beams that pilots followed to the airports. there was one close to our farm and many evenings I had a little look at the contantly revolving beam.
By: Red on September 4, 2013
I love the way your memories evoke so many of my own. Thanks for that. I have seen these searchlights a few times over the past few years. They're not a s popular as they once were but they still have their place. At least they do in my neck of the woods.
By: Hilary Quint on September 4, 2013
I never saw a searchlight. But I remember the grand opening of a Montgomery Ward's at a shopping center in Poplar Bluff, MO. They gave away cake on a napkin, and my dad won a tool box. I'm pretty sure it was summer.
By: Val on September 4, 2013
I know right???? I used to love watching the searchlights cut through the night sky. We had a Saint Bernard who also loved to watch and chase the lights in the sky. She was very adept at jumping up at least 4 ft in the air and trying to catch her some lights. We used to call them Annabelle lights for that reason. There were some here last year during the State Fair, first in many, many years.
By: Oma Linda on September 4, 2013
There is central theme emerging from your post. Most of us share similar memories. Your writing style is disarming and allows the reader to think of it as their own personal account of life. Thank you!
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 4, 2013
What a lovely piece. It left me with a wistful feeling I don't get very often anymore.
By: Shelly on September 5, 2013
I so remember those searchlights. Like you, we always wanted to find out their source and would pester our father to go. If we managed to convince him, we would be disappointed if it was anything other than a carnival. Funny. When I see them today, I'm reminded of my childhood. Before I jump in the car and race to see if the carnival's in town.
By: Al Penwasser on September 5, 2013
I'm in my most nostalgic state during the summers too. I also remember when McD's advertised a fraction of a million burgers had "already been served." I wondered who'd eaten so many burgers. I'd only had a few. Nicely written, Stephen. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on September 5, 2013
I would hate to be beamed back to my childhood. Please God no!
By: LL Cool Joe on September 5, 2013
The bookmobile and the hot summer nights wishing a breeze would find my bedroom window. Your post brought it back to me! We also still have an occasional search light, but not nearly as often as when I was younger. Now I'll really notice them.
By: Nancy Felt on September 5, 2013
I just saw one the other night, and I was really astounded because I can't remember the last time I saw one before that. I remember being fascinated by them as a kid, too. How lucky that your parents took you to find it! That sounds like a great adventure :)
By: Kianwi on September 5, 2013
I don't think we had any of those around here ... of course, I did live fairly far out in the country ... sounds like a really nice childhood memory, along with the rest of them.
By: jenny_o on September 5, 2013
The magic of youth and youthful imagination. grerat days.
By: John on September 6, 2013
I always find it absorbing to hear of the things that remind us of our childhoods. I think I'm at that age to reflect on experiences that I didn't fully appreciate the first time round.
By: Bryan Jones on September 8, 2013
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