Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Week 43 of 2012 - Soda Fountains and Local Restaurants
When we moved to Imlay City in 1967, we moved into town and now loved just a couple of doors off of the downtown business district on Almont Avenue. Imlay City was a cute little farm town actually. When we first moved there my Dad was looking at the local department store. He was thinking that he might buy it. It was called “Brownites”, as I recall. Imlay City had two hardware stores, a dime store, a grocery, two Drug stores , a shoe store, a liquor store, a bakery, a florist, a Masonic Lodge, a farm supply store and a couple of banks. It had it all and we were a few steps from each of them.
In Romeo, we had lived in the country so our “ town” was a car ride away on Saturday and Sunday only. Now that we lived in town, a whole new world of adventures opened up for us. Our new drug stores came equipped with their own soda fountains! Each had a counter with stools which spun around and the best part of it was that they were within walking distance from our house! NOT one but two to pick from! The closest one was called Dean's Drug store and the other was called Ray's Drug store. Both were on Third Street and a half a block away from each other. You could have a flavored soda, ice cream, a sundae or a milk shake not food, just sweet treats. Dean’s was where I had my first Vanilla Coke. They had a long row of syrups of different flavor behind the counter on a shelf. The lady behind the counter would get you one of those plastic cup holders with the paper cup in it. You know the kind that looked like an upside down tee pee and she would add one squirt of syrup to your coke. Oh I thought that this was the greatest and wondered why every town did not have one. My favorites were Vanilla and Cherry cokes. We did not drink soda regularly until we moved to Imlay City. I do not remember how much they cost, maybe a quarter or 30 cents. I remember getting change from my parent to go get a coke as often as they would let me.
Imlay city had an A&W Drive In which had the best root beer and a local restaurant called Tietz's Drive In. The waitresses at both locations, wore roller skates and brought your order out to you. You rolled your window down part ways and hung a tray on the window. You ordered your meal from the order station at each parking spot. You pressed a button on a call box next to your car and waited for the voice on the other end to answer you! You placed your order by talking into the box and telling the person what you wanted...this was certainly the precursor to the drive up windows of today!