07/28/11 — Facebook page recalls cruising on William Street

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Facebook page recalls cruising on William Street

By Staff Reports
Published in News on July 28, 2011 12:01 PM

Gas was less than a dollar a gallon. The Vietnam War consumed the evening news. People were still getting over the Beatles' breakup.

And William Street was the place to be. On weekend nights, cars full of young men and women were, as the band Steppenwolf said, "looking for adventure."

The north-south roadway was the favorite "drag" for a generation of Goldsboro area youths, many of them baby boomers, who knew every inch of it by heart. Many a couple now long-married first met there. And the street remained the area's most popular hangout on into the '80s and '90s.

But a new phenomenon, impossible to have imagined during William Street's heyday, might be piquing interest in what is now just another downtown stretch of asphalt.

A Facebook group asking for reminiscences of the good old days erected this week has already added nearly 1,000 members in two days, with a number of people talking about a possible reunion -- some even pushing for one as early as this weekend.

"I Partied on William Street in Goldsboro, NC," is attracting a lot of attention from Internet users who grew up near Goldsboro.

"Wish I had a dollar for every lap we did on Will Street," said a member.

"Do y'all remember Mary's Drive-In? They had the best fried chicken and foot-long hot dogs," another contributor recalled.

The current edition of the open William Street group -- a similar group called "I Used to Cruise William Street" was started in early 2010 by Donna Lewis, but is now defunct -- was started Tuesday by Billy Williams, Lynwood Strickland and April Strickland, and as of this morning boasted 988 members.

A section of the page refers to drivers' first tickets, usually for spinning tires or speeding or for running the red light at the Scotchman station.

"Who would've thought this many of us would still be around and on this page?" one member wrote.

But even if the page doesn't bring the "old-timers" back together -- quite a few apparently live far away -- it is helping keep many of them in touch.

At least one writer was a little more realistic about a reunion.

"Could u vision us all at our ages now cruising William St for kicks one night," she wrote. "The teens would think a retirement village was moving in."