Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Soft Serve

We've been watching with interest as remodeling progresses at the A & W across the street from our KFIZ studios. It got me to wondering if the most pretty and popular girls still work at drive-in restaurants.

As Ricky Ricardo would say, "I've got some splaining to do!" You have to understand that growing up in a small town of 3,500 people we only had three drive-in or drive-up restaurants. One was Clyde's, which served half-pound hamburgers well before somebody else got the idea. Then there was the local A & W that no longer is open. However it seemed that all the popular girls I went to high school with worked at the "Dairy Cream." Yeah the name's right think McDougal's in the Eddie Murphy movie "Coming to America."

Anyway I got to know some of the girls that worked at the "Dairy Cream" over the years. They got paid next to nothing for the privlege hoping to get tips from classmates and the middle-aged adolescents who hadn't gotten over themselves yet.

When I was a kid it was a treat for the family to go to the "Dairy Cream." When I was teenager it became another teen angst moment where you pondered whether you were going for the ice cream or to catch a glimpse of a girl you might have a crush on. To be honest I don't remember going to the "Dairy Cream" as a high schooler, but was dragged along for good old time sake once when I was going to college.

The "Dairy Cream" is still there, but other restaurants have popped up because of a bypass that was put in and you can get your soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt at a number of restaurants now. That's kind of sad in a way. Gille's and the A & W have long histories in Fond du Lac serving generations of the same families. But I'm not sure the "Dairy Cream" in little old Manistique, Michigan will stand the test of time and competition.

As for the girls that worked at the "Dairy Cream," I think working there was the price of popularity for some of them or a way to nurture it for others. I remember a few of them. Some of them ended up doing very well in life. They found out early that some times with life you have to serve others before you can serve yourself.

Going to a drive-in restaurant is still a kick, but a little further removed from my high school years I can now appreciate what my fellow classmates went through working at one.


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