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Buffett’s Buffet of Cold Treats
I am a great admirer of Warren Buffett, and not just because he’s rich as Croesus and thinks he ought to pay more taxes (although I don’t notice him writing a huge check to the Treasury Department and saying, “Keep the change.”).
No, I admire Warren Buffett because Warren Buffett founded Berkshire Hathaway, and Berkshire Hathaway owns Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen has been much on my mind lately for a few sort-of-but-not-really-connected reasons.
The first reason is I stopped at the Dairy Queen closest to my house the other day and got a Dilly Bar that was way below the standard.
The second is I’ve been goofing around on a Facebook page for people from LaGrange County, and the Dairy Queen of our collective kidhood figures large in some of the conversation.
And third, I’ve always wanted to mention the Dairy Queen I like best, near the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis, which is one of those great old walk-up DQs.
That’s what the LaGrange DQ was when I first became aware of it. You stood on the sidewalk, ordered your cone and wandered over to the post office steps to sit and enjoy it. This is such a terrific memory for me that I still think the walk-up Dairy Queen is vastly superior to the kind with tables and a burger grill.
Talk of the Dairy Queen in LaGrange invariably turned to “What was your favorite DQ treat?” My first answer was Ellie Woodworth, one of four Woodworth sisters to work there. Hubba hubba. My second was the dipped cone. Also hubba hubba.
Our DQ was famous for the tight ship run by its owner, Mrs. Lemings – a dear woman who insisted on doing things the right way. For example, before every shift employees had to line up and present their hands to Mrs. Lemings for inspection, and more than one got sent to the washroom for a do-over. Hospitals had nothing on Mrs. Lemings’ DQ for cleanliness.
Doing things the right way gets me to Ellie’s older sister, Barb. Now, as we all know, the signature of the DQ frozen treat is the curl on top. Without that, it’s just ice cream. Well, Barb was the best DQ curl maker in the Seventh Federal Reserve District. No matter what she was making, from a baby cone to a banana split, the curls were perfect every time.
For this reason, Barb was appointed the official Dilly Bar maker for the LaGrange DQ. You could always count on a Barb Woodworth Dilly Bar to have that perfect curl on the front side.
Of course, a Dilly Bar fan then had to make a decision: Do I start eating from the top, as is customary with an Eskimo-Pie style ice cream treat on a stick, or do I first bite off the curl?
For me, it was a no-brainer. That curl was perfect and therefore irresistible. Besides, I heard once of a kid who bit off the curl and sucked out all the ice cream, leaving a perfect chocolate shell behind. It seemed like something I might like to do someday.
Which gets me to my substandard Dilly Bar other day.
It had no curl. It was just a flat disc. Just ice cream.
Where’s Barb Woodworth when you need her? Mrs. Lemings would not have let that one out of the shop.
I’d better write Warren Buffett. I think the boss should know about this. And pay a reward.
© 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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