For Scott Becker of McPherson, climbing into his Ford Mustang and cruising down main street on a Saturday night brings back days gone by.


“I used to drag main here in the 80's and 90's. My boys are 17 and 20 and over the summer hang out at Lakeside park. They never knew what cruising main was. I believe it's a generation gap and was lost throughout the years,” Becker said.


And, he believed it was a tradition that should be rekindled. A year ago he started posting to Facebook, creating a page for photos that he called “Old Farts Drag Main.”


He’s back at it again, posting an event for 8 p.m. May 16. He also cruised Main with a few friends just last week.


“At one point we had cars lined up from stoplight to stoplight last Saturday,” Becker said.


Cruising main has become an activity that can be done during stay-at-home orders while observing social distancing guidelines. Just south of McPherson in Newton, a Facebook group dedicated to cruising main has seen membership grow to 500 in less than two weeks. In McPherson, it has started to pull people together as well.


“So far no one has done anything silly to cause reason for law enforcement to have any concerns,” Becker said. “The last one we did have some concerned citizens call because they thought we would cause a Covid-19 outbreak. Every one social distanced when they were out of their cars and I did see people counting how many were together. If there were 10 people they waited until someone left before they approached the car they wanted to look at. It was great to see car enthusiasts and really great to see how they automatically social distanced.”


Becker told The Sentinel he started the “Old Farts” goup out of a desire to get car lovers together. And while it carries a title loaded with age references, the cruise night is very much an intergenerational activity.


All that is really needed to be part of the night is a love of cars.


“It's been fun so far and there has been a bridge gapped between the generations,” Becker said. “There is some cruising and then lots of the cars stop and people get out to look at everyone's cars and talk about them. The younger people learn about the muscle car generation and the Old Farts like me get to see the new technology of the new cars and what they go through to modify their cars.”


The desire is to have an event each month — even after stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines are a thing of the past. The hope is also to see more cars coming from other towns like Hutchinson, Newton, Great Bend and Salina.


The most recent event, Becker said, saw about 60 cars on Main Street.


“Anyone that wants to come down is welcome, from bicycles to soccer mom vans,” Becker said. “It's just about getting people out of their house to enjoy our town. If they want to push a stroller down the sidewalk, come on out. I just love to see people out enjoying themselves. The friendly waves from car to car and the people walking down the sidewalks. … Main Street was a busy place every weekend when I was younger. I figured it was time to bring it back at least once a month.”