Linda Ballard

Some of the best of times during the 50s and 60s took place around the Dairy Queens, Dairy Freezes, Dairy Harts and root beer stands in our suburban community. Kilgore residents rose to the occasion when recently questioned about the locations and about the “special” item found at the Dairy Freeze. That question opened gates of memories and brought in laughter as the stories started pouring in.

According to George White, the Dairy Freeze was open from the 1960s until the early 1970s and the building where it was located is still there. To find the building you can drive on Highway 42 South past Clayton’s Market until you find Watson Road. The Dairy Freeze was on the corner of Watson Road on the left side in a little building. Recently, that building housed a cafe and before that it was a hot-link restaurant. It is directly across from Stone Trucking. The Dairy Freeze went out of business in the early 1970s and a woman named Mrs. Tisdale was the last to own it when it was that restaurant.

As a specialty, the Dairy Freeze served deep-fried tacos, which were reportedly very popular.

In agreement with George was Joe Ann Knight, who attempted to make up for lost time by working multiple jobs after graduating Kilgore College.

She said, “I wasn’t allowed to work while in school, but in 1965, I worked for Woolley Tool as a bookkeeper, John T. Crim on Saturdays and in the evenings at the Dairy Freeze. The woman who managed the Dairy Freeze at the time was Thelma Carlisle and yes, it was famous for their tacos. They would put meat in a taco shell and close it with a toothpick; deep fry it; open it up and fill it with lettuce and tomatoes.”

Joe Ann also worked at Weber’s root beer stand as a carhop only because her brother worked there. Weber’s was at the current location of Walgreens and was owned by J.C. Bundy. It was there that she worked as a carhop with George and Bo’s sister, Effie White.

On the other hand, Anna Bess Hedrick claims it had to have been the upside down banana split during the late 50s that was the “specialty” at the Dairy Freeze.

She said, “The banana split was made in a malt cup with the bananas sliced up in it and served with a long handle spoon. It was very good and very popular. My mom, Bess Roach, lived at Laird Hill and that is where I grew up, so we went by there quite often, although often was a rare treat and we just didn’t buy burgers every day. It became a special place for us, especially after the triplets were born. Young Bill would always ask for a hamburger ham somehow thinking the ham had to be on the end of it.

I was grateful I had my mother for help, and the whole community for that matter, as we were definitely raising a community project. But, that’s the way it was back then; everyone watched out for the other children, too. “

Tacos and upside down banana splits sounds good to us. Now we have added Weber’s Root Beer Stand, Horton’s Root Beer Stand, Dairy Freeze and Dairy Hart and something was said about a malt shop? Oh, my, I am getting hungry.

FOLLOWING a February tradition that coincides with Boy Scout Month, articles from Joe M. Jones’ personal Boy Scout collection can be found at the London Museum.

At 10 years of age, Joe joined Scouting in 1960, the 50th Anniversary of the program’s creation in the United States. He has quite a story to tell of earning badges and summer camping as part of the scouts.

Joe said, “In the 1970s, I became scoutmaster, then scoutmaster of Troop 372 in Longview. I took the Scouts to Pirtle in the summers of 1974 through 1977 and we made every ETAC Camporee. Six young men made Eagle Rank, and I hope I was a little influence in their accomplishment. My tenure at 372 ended when I re-enlisted in the Navy in late ‘77. I’ve worked in Scouting off and on through the years and maintain my Scouting collection.”

Scouting in the USA is 120 years old and today there are an estimated 2.3 million youth in the Boy Scouts and one million adults. To this day, the program (in some places called Guides) is active in 216 countries with about 58 members worldwide and 171 national organizations.

Now is the time to see his display. The London Museum is located at 10690 S. Main St., New London, TX.

IT FELT LIKE old home week as the KNH staff moved into its new office space at 207 N. Kilgore Street. On Wednesday, the arrival of Kilgoreites Bill Woodall, Randy Renshaw, John Slagle and others to visit a bit and check out the surroundings made it all seem real. If you catch us dancing on the sidewalks, don’t think a thing about it, just know we are excited to be here.

SPEAKING OF sidewalks, our Mayor Ronnie Spradlin almost got arrested in his own hometown this last week. The police department received a 911 call of a “suspicious looking man” being seen on the streets of downtown Kilgore. Our illustrious Mayor had taken it upon himself to fertilize the plants in the containers along the sidewalk. I, too, saw him and had difficulty at first recognizing him. He laughed about it saying, “I guess not, I was dirty and not dressed like most people see me.”

ADI DISHION MISSED the homecoming of her granddaughter Cali Dame on Thursday evening. Her flight from Korea had a layover in Alaska. Adi was already on the road to Fort Hood when the call came in but turned around and headed back home. Cali is part of the 1st Cavalry Heavy Artillery Unit and has been in Korea for 9 months. The flight was re-scheduled for 11 p.m. Cali is suppose to be in the United States for a few months before receiving new orders and Adi decided it would be best to see her on a later date.

HEAVEN OPENED ITS GATES for Mrs. Connie Clark Duggins on Thursday, Jan. 30 and services were held on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 at Forest Home Baptist Church. As hard as it was for family, extended family and friends to say goodbye, there are no words that can portray how befitting and beautiful the God-filled eulogy given by her loving husband, Bro. Buddy Duggins, Grandsons Reverend Clark and Reverend Collin Whitney and son-in-law Rev. Dr. Brian Whitney was to the many who came to show their respects. Having earned “her crown”, she is now among the angels. Connie touched many hearts with love and compassion and how blessed we were in this community and beyond to have her in our lives. She was most definitely loved and will be missed. Please keep the family in your prayers.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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