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When Our Landmarks Disappear

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If you’ve been around the area long enough, you may remember back when what is now Wing Tai Grocery was a Dairy Queen. I understand it was quite a hangout in its day, too. Well, that building is set to join the ranks of Tom & Mac’s, Joseph’s Pizza and Borden’s. It’s funny how we drive by these businesses for years and rarely give them a thought, but when we learn they are to be razed, we get a flood of memories. I guess it must be a pretty universal thing.

As you know, I didn’t grow up in the lake area, but I seem to have developed sympathy pains for folks who did when I read about places of yesterday that are no longer here. I know a lot of folks that refuse to eat pizza unless it’s from Joseph’s and Borden’s was the best place to get really good ice cream and floats in the summer.

I’ve seen a ton of my childhood landmarks torn down over the years. While you had Borden’s here, we had Carnation in Beaumont. It was the place to take a date after a football game or a dance. Carnation wasn’t just an ice cream place, they had all sorts of goodies on the menu. Of course, if a burger was what you craved. the only place to go was The Pig Stand. The Pig Stand had great BBQ burgers and everyone had to have the special drink of the house, a “Hollywood Rickey.” I’ve forgotten what goes into that drink, but it was cold and delicious on a hot day! I guess you could say that our “Tom & Mac’s” was the Pig Stand.

While Lake Charles enjoyed Joseph’s, we had a place called Vic and Al’s. Of course, with our South Texas accents, I’m sure it sounded more like “Vickenals.” That was the place for pizza or great Italian food. Vic & Al’s was our version of Papania’s (Oh, my gosh what great Italian food they had back in the day!) I do miss Papania’s!

Well, to bring this little jog down memory lane to and end, Wing Tai grocery, the former Dairy Queen is slated to meet with the bull dozer soon. Perhaps you remember the day when it was Dairy Queen. Can you imagine a Dairy Queen in that location now? They would be rich overnight! Well, too late. The folks at Wing Tai say that they are not going out of business just moving to another location.

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