VERMILION COUNTY — About a week ago, a dreamy memory materialized into something sweet: creamy vanilla frozen custard with caramel, pecans, a little fudge and a bright red cherry on top.
That turtle sundae was a tangible reminder. When I smell that certain fresh and airy scent of frozen custard, my senses take me back to an old sweet spot in DeKalb: Ollie’s Frozen Custard.
When I was younger, my mom and I used to walk to Ollie’s often. Conveniently, the shop was situated just a couple of blocks from our house.
The parlor was beige with blue-green trim, its yellow neon lights glowing at night. Then, there was the signature Ollie’s man with his mustache, perched at the top right-hand corner of the pint-sized building.
My mom and I would sit down and enjoy, digging into our sundaes. I never used to eat the cherry on top, but some of my tastes have changed.
What hasn’t changed is the feeling I get when I eat Ollie’s — a feeling of nostalgia, excitement and contentment.
My trip to Ollie’s last week was the poignant cherry-on-top of a flavorful ice cream tour Mary Wicoff and I started in Vermilion County on July 5.
We found the area full of rich tradition and wonderful memories centered on a common bond: a love for ice cream. Vermilion County and Indiana residents readily admit how they take advantage of the numerous ice cream and frozen custard shops sprinkled throughout the area.
Friends of our Facebook page raved about the area’s numerous treasures:
--Kimberly Bowman Seldomridge said, “No place is better than Hershey’s in Veedersburg!”
--Amy Faltraco said, “I was born in Danville and have been back to visit the past 25 years. I love Dairy Barn in (Hillery). It’s a favorite of all time. Great food and great memories. I had to take my kids there to share it with them!”