Sunday, November 8, 2009

Old Signs from the TROPICAL FREEZE! Wow!

Posted By on Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 5:27 PM

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As anyone who reads this blog knows, I consider the Tropical Freeze — the distinctive tropical-themed ice cream joint at Poplar and White Station — sort of the "holy grail" of Memphis roadside attractions. Mainly because so little of the place seems to have survived. I've posted some grainy photos from high school yearbooks, but that's it. I've never seen a decent color photo of the Tropical Freeze, one of the most colorful places in town.

And then a few days ago, a reader who identified himself only as skipchip, sent me this message:
The owner of the Tropical Freeze, Eleanora Waddell, died January 15, 2007 in Memphis. Several items from the shop were recently stored in Memphis. I have photos of some of the menu boards.

I immediately wrote back and asked for photos of the signs, and here you go (more images below). Notice that he also has a few decorative panels as well, with brightly painted palm tree designs.

Looking over the menus, the selection at the Tropical Freeze wasn't really very unusual, but you'll notice they did offer such oddities as "Tropical Sundaes" (just 35 cents), a Papaya Juice Pina Colada (25 cents), and even an ice cream flavor they called (what else?) "Tropical Freeze" ( a whole pint for just 30 cents).

Also, their "Tropical Shakes" were "made with our own Tropical Freeze — a delightful blend — of island-grown products." What's more, they were "nature's most healthful, non-fattening and refreshing flavors."

Many, many thanks for sharing all these pictures, Chip. If you want to sell any of these to the Lauderdale Library, well, you know how to reach me. (See more photos on the next page.)

Okay, now I've heard the Tropical Freeze had a little dancing hulu girl in the window. I've also heard that the great neon sign that stood on Poplar was propped against a fence behind a house on Brookhaven Circle, where it remained for years until one day it disappeared. So what I want to know is:

WHERE IS ALL THE OTHER STUFF FROM THE TROPICAL FREEZE???????

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