Reflection on a bygone era

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Every day on my way into work I would drive by an empty building with a really cool sign on top.

The ice cream cone outlined in faded neon always made me think it was something that the crew from History Channel’s “American Pickers” would love to see. This former Dari Delite location had been empty long before I got to Clanton. I sometimes would wonder about when it closed and whether one could actually have eaten on the inside.

This week, the abandoned building came down, and the lot is now empty.

Although I have no memories connected to the spot, it was fun to find out that many of our readers did. Some had relatives who had worked there. Several had fond memories of family, friends and food connected to the location. Some commented on items they have not had since the location closed, like pizza burgers or a chuckwagon burger. (If anyone remembers what was on the chuckwagon burger, let me know.)

From the comments, I imagine it was once a favorite stop for ice cream and classic American favorites like burgers and hotdogs. For me, food memories of my younger days often include Filleti’s Pizza and Subs in Dundalk, Maryland, where my father knew the owner. If the owner was there, he always took a minute to say, ‘hi’ to my dad and the rest of us. He sometimes also threw in something extra with our order.

I imagine there are some in Chilton County who have similar stories about many of the local restaurants that have been here or are still in operation.

It is always more fun to write about a business opening than a business closing, but I have now been in town long enough to have a few of my own “that used to be the …” stories.

The style of the building that came down reflected a different era. A time when Chilton County and Clanton looked different than it does today. The lot may now be empty, but local memories are full of good times associated with it.

What this vacant lot might become is unknown at this time, but I hope whatever happens to the property that it will be a place where more memories can be made.