Alan Amos opened the festivities at 10 AM by welcoming all cruisers and telling the crowd the reason why the event had happened. “Big E Cruizin’ 4 Charity” raised money for the Children’s Advocacy Center. The Star Spangled Banner was then played was played by the Justified Quartet with two local cruisers, Johnny and Joey Thomson, while the flag hang over Centre City Pool with children jumping in the water as a backdrop.
Allison Rogers, teacher at Cherokee County High School, made a blanket with the names of all the cruisers that had passed away before this year’s reunion. “We are trying to share old memories, make new friends, put smiles on faces and mostly help a child,” said Amos.
The Cherokee County Art Guild was there proudly showing off their students’ work and taking donations.
Cruisers shared stores about days before car radios, when they carried along boom boxes for passengers.
They would ride until they found their group of friends then put the boom boxes on the hoods of their cars. Every teenager knew where to find their friends and every parent knew where to find their teenager.
It was somewhere to go on the weekends and a place to see everybody outside of school. Some people say that parking lot is where they met their spouse and some say that the parking lot taught them about life.
“Your car would be sitting there alone and 30 minutes later you couldn’t find it. We learned how to solve our problems the right way in that parking lot, “ said Tammy Amos.
The parents of the “Big E Generation” all agreed that it was a good thing.
The “Big E Generation” said they all wish that their kids had a local place to go to have clean fun and make the memories they made.
“Eventually you had to ride, because there would be nowhere left to park,” said a former cruiser, Terry Wadsworth.
The “Big E Generation” ended the event at 10 p.m. with another cruise around their parking lot. Again their horns blew, their music played, and cars made circles around The Cherokee Plaza.
For one night, this group got to relive their teenage years and show their kids what it was like for them. They turned the clock back to the 80s.
Alan Amos wants the public to know that the reunion will continue to happen annually and their legacy will live on.