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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beal's Dixie Kream - Olive Branch, Mississippi

Posted By on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Beals Dixie Kream in 1966
  • Beal's Dixie Kream in 1966
So the other day I was looking through a stack of 50-year-old yearbooks from Olive Branch High School. Doesn't everybody do that on a Saturday night?

I didn't find any Lauderdales among the students, but one thing I did notice was an ad in the back of all the yearbooks, for an establishment called Beal's Dixie Kream. Yes, that's right — it (and the owner's name) was spelled Beal — without the "e." Sometimes the ads spelled the name of the place "Cream" but the neon sign out front says "Kream."

The owner, as you can see, was Mrs. Hazel Beal. No mention of a Mr. Beal, so I wonder if she was a widow? Divorced? None of my damn business? (choose one)

The yearbooks spanned 1960 to 1967, and one thing that caught my eye was how the brick exterior changed over the years. In a 1961 ad, it was apparently a solid color, but in later ads it clearly had a checkerboard pattern. What's curious is that by 1967, the walls were back to being one color. Too bad the ads were in black-and-white, so I don't know what color(s) the place was painted. I bet it was quite festive, and since it appeared in every yearbook, THE place to go on Friday and Saturday nights in Olive Branch.

Like most ice-cream joints, Beal's offered milkshakes and a variety of sandwiches. But it also provided customers with "Memphis telephones" so they could "Talk While You Eat." In fact, look at the 1966 advertisement, and there's the phone booth, right in front.

The ads say Beal's Dixie Kream was located on Highway 78 at the Tennessee/Mississippi state line. I haven't driven out Lamar in a while (probably ever since Maywood closed), so does anyone know what happened to this cute little place, and what's there now?

Here are some other views of it, taken from the old yearbooks:

Beals in 1961
  • Beal's in 1961

Beals as it looked in 1965
  • Beal's as it looked in 1965

Beals in 1967. Note the popcorn maker.
  • Beal's in 1967. Note the popcorn maker.

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