December 10, 2018

Ice cream and memories: The taste of home sweet home

“Oh we’re goin to Andy’s… Andy’s makes it fun to be a kid for a while!”

Immediately after our excited rendition of the jingle, my sister and I would face each other, then shoot a wink in either direction adding “Yeah!” at the end. This was the jingle of my childhood.

Was it totally cheesy and probably more annoying than anything? Yes. But it was not the jingle itself that I loved and still smile to myself about today. It was what the jingle represented. If you are not from Springfield, Mo., it probably means absolutely nothing to you. But for a Branson born, Springfield native like myself, it’s a flood of memories and good nostalgia.

Andy’s Frozen Custard is the place to go after a special occasion, or on a hot summer’s eve — or just because. It’s a very well-known destination in Springfield, where you can find hundreds of people indulging in mouth-watering frozen treats on any given night.

For me, it’s the James Brown Funky Jackhammer. That’s just an Andy’s way of saying: fresh made vanilla custard filled with hot fudge and loaded with brownie chunks and peanut butter mixed in — in other words, it’s perfection in my mouth.

Living in Springfield, I never considered what it would be like to not have an Andy’s at my disposal whenever I wanted. Then I moved to St. Louis for school, and although Ted Drewes is decent — and yes, I’ve had many locals try to convince me it’s better — it’s just not the same. It’s not sitting on my grandpa’s tailgate chatting about life, while I try to finish my treat before the fudge turns my Jackhammer into soup. It’s not running into familiar faces and enjoying some laughs after Friday night’s game.

Andy’s is a sweet frozen treat after my friends and I finish a round or two of mini golf at Fun Acre. It’s free doggy cones on the days you have no money but everybody is going, so you tag along and see how many you can eat in a night. It’s grandma ordering you a large every time you go, which is too big for you to eat, but she doesn’t listen when you say you want a small. It’s driving through and picking up a chocolate milkshake for papa, then bringing it to him at work because it’s his favorite.

Andy’s is more than the best custard I have ever had, it’s a part of home. It accompanies some of my best childhood memories and events over the years. I have managed to get by since living in St. Louis. Between my visits home and the spontaneous road trips to Cape Girardeau for the sole purpose of a James Brown fix, I survive. But to hear that they are in the process of opening an Andy’s Frozen Custard right here in the metro St. Louis area, downtown Kirkwood to be more specific, well that’s more than just exciting news. That’s a taste of home and new memories to be made.

 

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