J.B.'s Journal: Soda Fountain

J.B.'s Journal

(KYTX) - Soda fountains became popular in the 1940's and could be found in pharmacies,dime stores and department stores.  In New London, Texas, a soda fountain was built in 1938; one year after an explosion destroyed the school and killed almost 300 students,teachers and parents.

"We make our drinks the same way as they did in 1938. We put syrup in,carbonated water.

From the original Hamilton Beach mixer, to the glassware for ice cream sundaes, the counter at the New London shop has stood the test of time.

"Charlie McConoco came here from Streetman, Texas, opened drugstore and soda fountain.
He had most anything you wanted to buy and his saying was if he didn't have it, he'd have it Tuesday.
We just came in here got what we needed say charge it to my daddy."
The soda fountain is located in the New London museum, across the street from the high school. Many students come everyday for that taste of history.

"It's a great opportunity to experience something that was done when my grandmother was my age."

 "The fountain drinks they make themselves, so they're more richer,more flavor in them."

A unique flavor; a bit surprising to some.

 "To me they're better, I prefer the fountain drink, a lot of people don't, say oh this doesn't taste right."
Jean says in her days, it was all about cherry coke, but today the kids want Dr. Pepper with vanilla and other concoctions.

 "A lot of lemonade…a lot of lemonade, want strawberry and cherry syrup in it."
Modern machines can't compete with something handmade.

 "You drink one of these you know the can is nothing compared to what we get here."

"I thought it was pretty cool, how they were blending it, machine pretty cool, I like how its made, looks delicious."

The food is another draw for those hungry high-schoolers.

 "In 1958, I was a soda jerk at a drugstore in Oak Cliff, I would say things like meatball MLT, cut the smelt, that means hamburger, mayo, lettuce,tomato, leave off the onion."
A counter top that has seen many changes over the years.

"We have a lot of deep conversations, settled a lot of world problems there."

A place rich in history they hope will continue serving as long as they can.

 "You can't find any better drinks than here."

For CBS 19,I'm J.B. Smith and that's my story.


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