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Memories of burgers, hot rods and a furry minidress
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Here’s the Samuel Hay Chronology, as best I can remember:

First there was "The Snow Girl," located at the triangle on Floyd and Adams streets across from Hooten’s store and built and owned by Shug Campbell.

The lower portion of the walls sloped outward at the top and was many different colors of brick, with glass all around and four service windows, two on the front and one on each side. There was no inside seating. The sign on top was priceless: a huge, about 9-foot tall, girl with a furry minidress, furry boots and a furry cap, seated, holding an ice-cream cone.

Then there was the Buck N’ Kidd Restaurant/Drive-In where Stalvey’s is now located. There was also the Tastee Freeze on Washington Street, across from Kitchens Market. It had a small seating area. Dave, the owner, was a huge ex-professional football player whose top dish in the kitchen was pizza. I’ve never been able to duplicate the recipe, involving a white cheese that was stringy when hot, a bit of ground beef on top, a tiny bit of sauce in the middle, and a skinny crust that was neither crispy or rubbery.

Then there was The Cow Palace, an old Dutch architecture barn, located on U.S. 278 about where ACS air-conditioning service is now. Another famous location for the local crowd was "Little Texas," a huge cow pasture with no fencing located on Richardson Street just past Oxford.

Of course, we had the Strand Theater, the Hub Drive-In and the Moonlit Drive-In. The Moonlit showed the most recent movies, but most folks didn’t watch the movies much, anyhow, so it didn’t really matter.

I do have an excellent memory for stuff. But you know, I remember dozens of movies I saw at The Strand, but not a single one from either of the drive-ins ... hmmmm. The burgers and fries at both were pretty good.

There was nothing frozen being offered from any of the restaurants, until the Dairy Queen came to town later. But it wasn’t really frequented by the teens because there wasn’t much "parking" area and way too much light. ...ha ha ha.

Notably, every venue was always highlighted with local hot-rod automobiles.

And that brings to mind the Varsity, where all us hot-rod guys would go and "chug" through, time and again. I’m super-underwhelmed that the film that was done on the Varsity and is shown on PBS from time to time had only about five seconds of the hot rods.

What made the Varsity was the crowds coming in to see the hot rods. I should write them a nasty note.

I remember when gas went up from 25 cents a gallon to 27 cents a gallon. I could not imagine how I was going to be able to work that into my budget to drive to Atlanta from Covington every evening to college.


Samuel Hay is a longtime Newton County resident and can be reached at