The dairy bar is a reasonably common sight in Indiana.The fact they still exist with all of the competition from fast food restaurants says a lot about their endurance. Most of them are family-owned and have been in small towns long before Subway was a restaurant. Maybe it's a Midwest thing, but I doubt it.
Rose worked at the Dairy Queen when she was a teenager. It was a walk-up restaurant on a street corner. The building was seven, eight hundred square feet, if that. There was no dining, the only tables were outside, and it had two order windows. This DQ was right down the road from the baseball park, so you can imagine summer nights with winning and losing teams snaked around the side of the building waiting for their ice cream cones. Rose loved that job. The building was torn down a long time ago to make way for a new Walgreens.
Yesterday, on our way through Pendleton, we stopped at Jimmy's for a tangerine soft serve. It's hard to drive by without stopping. It's another one of those places, probably built in the 50s, and still endures, stays the same year after year. How many countless teenagers learned responsibility and earned a little money pulling the ice cream lever over the years? It's hard to tell. Dairy bars serve an important function in small town America, and I think they're often overlooked, taken for granted. I'm just glad they're still around. Especially Jimmy's--I'm not big ice cream fan, but I'll stop for a tangerine soft serve any day of the week.