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Seven Eleven

Seven Eleven
January 28, 2016 01:15PM
Most participants here probably know this story: [tiny.cc]

However, it is worth bringing up again, because of new members, and because of some particular points about Oak Farms and personnel not included in earlier discussions here. Perhaps family members of the personnel mentioned are still around Dallas and could be located and could comment.

Two caveats regarding the story: The watermelons sold at Southland and U-Totem stores were not frozen as stated in the story, but simply chilled. Also, there was no drive-through service at the stores. One had to go into the store to buy products. Others who know the history better than I do regarding personnel and particularly information about Oak Farms Dairy may offer other corrections.

Dave McNeely
Re: Seven Eleven
January 28, 2016 05:57PM
When I was small (early 1950's} 7-11 was always referred to as "the ice house" by the adults. The first one I remember was on Northwest Hwy. in Walnut Hill Village and they did indeed have curb service. My mother would park in front of the store, roll down her window and honk the horn once to bring a teenage boy who took her order and money and brought back the milk and change. I suppose it was a concession to the harried mothers of bouncing Boomers.
Re: Seven Eleven
January 28, 2016 07:08PM
I too remember such stores being referred to as the "ice house." That derives from their history as being exactly that, also called "ice docks." As the article I referenced relates, at first the only product sold was ice, in blocks. Then enterprising store managers added other items, primarily ones that benefited from being kept cool, such as beer, soft drinks, milk, eggs, some produce, plus bread. The ice houses had become "convenience stores," yet continued to be called ice houses. Southland continued to operate some stores in the old ice dock structures, and some of them under the name "Southland Ice Store" up until at least 1958. These emporia usually had a high loading dock, and were painted in a blue and white striped pattern.

The name "ice house" is still extant. In south Texas a store that doubles as a cantina is called that today. Many a time when I lived and worked in the RGV a colleague would say to me near the end of the day, "Let's stop at the ice house for a beer." He meant a nearby convenience store that also had a few tables under mesquite and ebony trees out back, and served beer and barbecue there.

I wonder if the "curb service" at the store you remember was peculiar to that location? Or was it general to all Seven Elevens of the time? I don't remember it at all. But I'm nearly certain the "drive through" feature mentioned in the article I cited didn't exist.

Dave McNeely
Re: Seven Eleven
February 25, 2016 01:30PM
I worked for 7-11 in 1964.
We had a couple of crippled customers who would drive up and honk and we would provide curb service.
One guy I remember in particular was extremely obese. He probably weighed over 400 lbs.
He asked for the same thing every day- a pint of Oak Farms ice cream with a wooden Dixie Cup spoon.

The Southern Ice Houses I recall were mostly a bunch of old men playing dominos and drinking beer on the dock.
I particularly remember the one on Haskell (north of Bryan St).
Re: Seven Eleven
February 26, 2016 01:53PM
In San Antonio, it is still commonplace to refer to convenience stores as ice houses.
Re: Seven Eleven
April 10, 2016 04:43PM
I can remember going with my Father to buy blocks of ice at Southland Ice Co. in Oak Cliff, that was in the 1940's.......Bill Strouse
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