Joy-riding to the Roadhouse

course music and inferior liquorThis selection is from Elinor Glyn’s This Passion Called Love, which was published in 1925. Appearing in a chapter entitled “The Results of Petting and Drinking,” this excerpt has some very grave warnings for the youth (particularly the young ladies) of the 1920s. Personally I find “roadhouses” quite enticing, but I guess I could learn a thing or two from Miss Glyn.

1925: Joy-riding to the Roadhouse

In some respects, the automobile has become a disturbing element in the lives of boys and girls. In years past, courtship progressed at the girl’s home, on lovers’-lane strolls, at parties, dances and the like, while to-day the automobile and good roads enable the young people quickly to reach comparatively distant points of entertainment. Roadhouses and wayside inns have sprung up at places of necessary and desirable remoteness, where the restraints of nearby residents are not available for quelling unruly emotions and passions that follow course music and inferior liquor. So, young girls, unless you have been reared with a happy sense of restraint and the fitness of things, you endanger your peace of mind and your good repute by frequenting roadhouses in the company of casual male companions.

True it is that parents are much to blame for a certain slackness in the training and observation of their children. Father and mother, with their car, cannot always expect daughter and her friend to be satisfied to motor quietly about with them. If the parents are too often joy-riding alone themselves, they can hardly expect daughter to remain at home looking over the latest styles or trying out the newest fox-trot.

And, young girls, if you must joy-ride, insist that your escort return you home at an early hour. Do not frequent roadhouses where they serve liquor. Even though you may not drink yourself, you will be credited with having done so. In these days of abominable bootleg poison and lax standards, you may regret to the end of your days the moment you began drinking. Liquor is not for the young. Your blood is fresh and vigorous enough to give you all the stimulus you need. You are naturally vivacious. Impressions are new. You can have simply wonderful times without the assistance of liquor. Spirits will deaden your sense, will lull to sleep your caution, will lead you gradually and unknowingly and pleasantly to indiscretions that your later awakening will horribly contemplate. Heed not the taunts and sneers of your male escort or any other of the ladies of the party who may be indulging in liquor ~ the men may wish you to drink for a purpose, while it cuts the pride of the other girls to have you refrain. Such companions are not your friends ~ they will injure you, not help you.

Source: Glyn, Elinor. This Passion Called Love. Auburn, N.Y.: The Authors’ Press, 1925.
~ pp. 24-26 ~