Remember what Charlotte was like in 2003? Probably not. If you’re like most of the young people living here, you grew up somewhere else and (wisely) decided to make Charlotte your home later.
But if you’re one of the lucky few born and raised in the QC, you might recognize some of these throwbacks. So grab a few Beanie Babies, turn up the Britney, and enjoy.
Books and Bugs: If you grew up in Charlotte, you can truly appreciate how exciting it is that we’ve finally been able to “Bring Back the Buzz.” Not only can you thank the Hornets for fun childhood memories, you might also be able to thank them for the fact that you can read. You can still remember staying up way past your bedtime to finish reading Heidi so you could log more pages, adrenaline coursing through your veins, the faces of your third grade classmates flashing through your mind. Maybe your class didn’t win the challenge (not your fault — you finished Heidi), but you did get a Hornets pencil case that you wrote Aaron Carter’s name all over. Worth it.
Got Jake?: Jake Delhomme, of course. If you didn’t have a “Got Jake?” t-shirt, you didn’t grow up in Charlotte. Jake started playing for the Panthers back when Bank of America Stadium was Ericsson Stadium, and he helped lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl (yes, that really happened). The Panthers didn’t defeat the New England Patriots, but it was still a memorable Super Bowl (read: Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction).
Discovery Place: A field trip to Discovery Place was the highlight of your school year. It was cool to have your mom as a chaperone and you got to spend a whole day learning, disguised as playing. These days, you can hit up Discovery Place’s “Science on the Rocks” for a little adult fun. Nothing’s better than a field trip, except for a field trip with cocktails.
McAdenville for Christmas: The holiday season meant piling into your family’s mini van a few days before Christmas and taking I-85 straight to Christmas Town, USA. Annual family trips to McAdenville seemed to alternate between the best and the worst family memory of the year. There’s nothing quite like being squished in the car with your siblings while you sit in horrendous traffic, listening to Jingle Bell Rock on repeat. Every McAdenville trip has three things in common: hot chocolate, traffic, and an inevitable family fight. If you were lucky, though, the bickering subsided for at least the 15 minutes you spent actually driving through the magical town. Ah, a Christmas miracle.
The old Charlotte Knights stadium: Going to a Charlotte Knights game used to mean leaving Charlotte. If you truly loved Homer the Dragon, you were willing to go all the way to Fort Mill just to see him (and eat cotton candy). If you ever got to race him around the bases, you were a celebrity and I’m still too intimidated to talk to you. Thanks for reading my article though. Please like me.