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Ice cream stands of the past
August 31, 2009 - Jim Bartholow
The west side's ice cream stand is gone. Torn down. I think is was called the Tastee Freeze, or something like that. It was a nice place to stop and get an ice cream cone at the corner of Franklin Street and Putnam Avenue. When we used to go there the West Side fire station was open and people from all over that neighborhood would walk over for a cone. It's too bad this relic of the past couldn't survive. I'm sure many of the residents thought it was nice, too. Sad, too, to see the Devola Creamland closing. The restaurant had great burgers and ice cream. We went a few times, but obviously not often enough. But I wonder why these businesses failed. Some might say we're eating healthier. Perhaps, but ice cream remains a popular comfort food. I think there's a change in our neighborhoods afoot. Since the flooding five years ago with Hurricane Ivan, many parts of the West Side have been struggling to rebound. Homes and mobile home lots that used to be occupied are now vacant. You can't build much in a flood-prone area. In Devola, maybe it's just that the community got older and people haven't been going out as much. I don't have any figures to back up my theory, just a gut feeling. But the Cone and Shake on Pike Street always seems busy, thank goodness. Their burgers are Grade A in my book. And the shakes and sundaes taste great, too. I've tried a couple times to get into the Jug in Newport, but gave up because that place was so crowded, so that business seems pretty healthy, from a business perspective. All this talk about ice cream stands, though, reminds me of the granddaddy of em all in Marietta. I'm talking about the B&K root beer stand that used to operate next to the Cone and Shake. Roto beer in a frosted mug... awesome. You'd park your car and the waitress took your order for juicy burgers and tasty fries. And the onion rings were really rings, not onions shaped into a circle. As newlyweds in the early '70s Leslie and I ate lots of meals under the B&K canopy. I even remember some sort of ice cream stand in Williamstown, but I can't place it in my mind.
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