For those few of you who will read this blog, please forgive my indulgence into my past and please forgive my somewhat public therapy sessions on the proverbial couch as I work through the difficulty of dealing with post-tornado stress and depression.
This is a photo of the Freezer Fresh in West Liberty, KY. I took this shot one summer night. I wanted a night shot to get the movement of cars driving around the small dairy building. I sent my two children to the window for an order after I set my tripod up across the street. I set my camera up for a long exposure and hoped my kids didn’t move too much.
The Freezer Fresh was built and opened by my dad in 1957. It had been a popular hang-out in our town for over fifty years, that is before the tornado, or as the people of Haiti refer to the devastating earthquake simply as “the event”.
As I made my way down Prestonsburg Street that fateful night on March 2, 2012, one of the sights that affected me the most was seeing the Freezer Fresh in ruins, with the ice cream machine oozing water…seemingly gasping its last breath. My son walked over to turn it off as if to put it out of its misery.
For me, the Freezer Fresh was a kid’s greatest treasure. Since my dad was the owner, I could go and get free ice creams and shakes and big wheels and brown derbys and sundaes and hot dogs and barbeques. For those few years of my childhood I was Caligula of the dairy products, spending my summers in a lactose indulged haze and I did not care who knew it.
My kingdom of that summer dairy world came to an end one fateful night when I saw two gentlemen in my family room talking to my dad. I later learned that he had sold the Freezer Fresh to those two fine men that I had known all of my life and suddenly, I was jealous of their kids who happened to be good friends of mine. My rule was over, forced from my throne, chocolate dripping from the corners of my mouth, in a state of depression that lasted til the day I finally passed my driver’s test and went to the Freezer Fresh with a sparse amount of change in my pocket and experienced something I had only read about…sweet freedom.
I pulled my dad’s Plymouth Valiant into the Freezer Fresh parking lot and ordered me something, I don’t even remember, but I know it spoiled my supper. It began a time of revelry into burning gas mixed with hot dogs smothered with chili and slaw, a combination of biofuels that kept me going well into college.
The Freezer Fresh has had four owners since 1957, all of them wonderful people. They have seen teenagers come and go, starting out their working careers and professions slogging dairy products and double-deckers across the small linoleum counters. They have seen loves develop into marriages, Road Runners peeling out, a few fights, and a lot of smiles.
The Freezer Fresh is going to open again soon…the glorious kingdom returns. PEANUT BUTTER SHAKES FOR EVERYONE!!!!!!
If you like this photo, there are more of my photos here.