In the summer of ’86 there was a great Wall Street Journal (hereinafter WSJ) article written about a Frozen Custard Stand in Lafayette, Indiana.
I was 13 at the time.
What was I doing reading the WSJ? Well, Friday night WSJ review nights, of course. Some of you know that every week we’d have “article review” where me, my sisters, and my dad would sit around the dining room table (you all did this too, right?) and review our inbox reading for the week (you had one of these also, yeah?) and talk about what we learned.
No, I am not making this up.
The intended purpose was, I assume, about developing cognitive reasoning skills as well as practicing retention, and of course I wouldn’t forget the riveting family fun involved. Well, for real, it ACTUALLY was fun (we didn’t know better ðŸ™‚ ) and it enabled us to spend time together. Well, the short of the story was that later in the summer of ’86 we all decided to take a road trip to Lafayette to hit the custard place that we all read about. We were on our way out West, if I recall, but in any event we opted for a two-hour detour just to get a taste of this stuff. We never went there again. I don’t even think we ever really talked about it again.
Fast forward 23-years…
So this week I’m on the road, starting in Dallas (my birthplace), the next day Knoxville, the next day Indy for the day (meeting w/ old friends and also a pretty cool networking meeting that’s fodder for another blog entry) and I’m leaving Indy in a way-too-small rental car making my way up to Merrillville, which isn’t all too far from Chicago.
As I’m driving I basically remember this article (yes, this is bizarre I know–but it’s just how my mind works) from ’86 in the WSJ and that I’ll be driving near Lafayette off I-65. An iPhone Safari search and 30 seconds later and I’ve got the address of the Original Frozen Custard stand Â in Lafayette.
So I go. And as I’m there a flood of memories return, from the WSJ review nights (I can still recall talking about the owners of the Custard Stand, and how they reinvented their former business from the 30’s to develop this world-renowned frozen custard because…well, who cares at this point why…) to the trip I took with my family to how good it was when I first tasted it when I was 13.
Prudence should’ve stopped me at the serving of Pumpkin Pie (they don’t allow samples or mixing at all–it’s like Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, kinda), but then I needed to try Mint Chip (not that great) and then some sundae of sorts (pretty good as well, but the Pumpkin was the best), yet I was so enveloped in the moment and all the memories of the past that I just had to have a few samples–and, no, I didn’t eat all of them. But even after sitting outside at this place, literally by myself with nobody else around, amidst a gorgeous afternoon with the crisp smell of Fall in the air, I didn’t want to leave. Because, to leave, meant I would also leave the nostalgia.
The lesson I was reminded of?
And, depending on what you’re doing, who knows if the memories will resurface 23 days, 23 months, or in my case, 23 years later.
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