Look! It’s The Jet!
Jet Drive-In was Havelock’s “Happy Days” hang-out
We searched for years for a photograph of The Jet Drive-In, which once graced Havelock’s crossroads intersection. Here for decades endless numbers of teenagers, marines, sailors and tourist stopped for a juicy burger, steaming fries, dripping chili dogs and ice cold soft drinks. Curb-service waitresses brought orders to the driver’s window where a tray was hung for the duration of the visit.
It was the place to see and be seen, to take your date, or for boys to meet girls and vice versa. Whether you were in one the era’s great muscle cars, a Volkswagen Beetle or a land yacht borrowed from mom and dad, The Jet was an indispensible part of Havelock Friday and Saturday nights.
The classic 1950s-style hang-out stood at the intersection of Highway 70 and Highway 101, just down the grade from Cherry Point’s main gate. It operated into the 1970s.
For such a famous landmark the dearth of documentary photographs has been something of a mystery. The search has included the review of years of newspapers, annual chamber directories and business guides, plus published appeals to the public.
Just days ago we found this one and couldn’t wait to share it. Pleased to have an image, any image, of the focal point of so many teenaged memories, we nevertheless will continue to hunt for a photo showing the entire fan-shaped building with its one-of-a-kind neon sign featuring the outline of a streaking jet aircraft. If you have one or know where one can be found, we’d love to here from you.
— Eddie Ellis
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EDWARD BARNES ELLIS JR.