Milkshakes and Bazooka gum

Dad still took us places. We didn’t do things as a complete family anymore, but me being the youngest I didn’t have any frame of reference about that because I was too little to ever remember us doing things with both my mother and father.

About 1973. Rocking a fabulous pantsuit and posing in 
front of my Dad’s VW bug. Probably on our way to Bart’s.

My special place to go with Dad, usually just him and me, was Bart’s. Bart’s was, and is, a popular drive-in restaurant in my hometown that had been around since the 1950’s. One side of Bart’s sold hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, milkshakes and other delicious drive-in kind of food. The other side was a little convenience-like store where you could get some basic food items like milk and bread. And candy. 

I loved Bart’s. It was a special treat to go there for a milkshake. There were no seats at Bart’s. You drove up, walked up to the counter and ate and drank right there. Or you brought it back to your car. 

I remember being so small that I used to count the wads of gum people stuck under the counter because I couldn’t see over the counter.  Dad would order his coffee milkshake. He would order a strawberry one for me. I could never finish them. They were enormous.  Dad never used a straw. They all knew Dad there and he would make small talk with the owners, Bob or Bart Dillon, while he leaned against the counter. 

Mr. Dillon. He made plenty of my
milkshakes when I was a little girl. Photo
from website. 

I would hold my milkshake and go over to the connecting double sided glass door between the restaurant and the store. The door wasn’t used, but  I liked to push my face up against it to see through a peg board that was between the two panes of glass. I thought it was a special secret that I had discovered that there was a large poster of Santa Claus they were storing between the glass panes. I liked peeking through the holes to see Santa.

After milkshakes I could usually talk Dad into going next door and getting some candy. Bazooka bubble gum. The cost was 1 cent.  Or Fireballs. Also 1 cent. I preferred the Bazooka gum because there was always a little comic wrapped around the gum. 

Carol Dillon  was wife of one of the owners and she used to work the register in the store. She had big, blond, poofy hair and pink lipstick and was always so nice to me.  She would call me sweetie. Dad used to give me some pennies and I could pick out what I wanted and pay Mrs. Dillion all by myself.
Bart’s was a special place for me with good memories. It was for my Dad too. When he was very ill and in the nursing home he couldn’t eat solid food any longer. I asked him if he would like me to bring him something special. He asked for a Bart’s coffee milkshake. 


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