Journey back in time to the era of carhops, the sound of hamburgers sizzling on the grill, the whir of the chocolate malt machine, and a congregation of teenagers laughing and talking with their friends. Les Paul and Mary Ford’s “Vaya con Dios” or Doris Day’s “Que Será Será” might be heard playing on the juke box. The scene was the Dairy Delight Drive-In once located on the southeast corner of Getty and Oppenheimer.
Lewis H. Mathews purchased the property at 1202 N. Getty on June 25, 1952, from S. H. Griffin who had operated the Uvalde Washateria on the spot for more than six years. According to Mathews’ son Al, a 1961 Uvalde High School graduate, his father ran a used car dealership for several years in Monahans prior to moving to Uvalde. Mathews would operate the Dairy Delight for 15 years.
Gary Heyen, UHS graduate of 1959, remembers it well. “The Dairy Delight was the north end of the Main-Getty loop where we all spent riding up and down trying to be cool. We all had to stop and find out what was going on and what the latest gossip was. The Dairy Delight was essential to our lives and was one of the highest priorities of our culture. It was a hub of activity and served to provide us with many happy times and relationships. I don’t remember a more popular place in Uvalde at the time.”
Ray Nave, a 1960 UHS graduate, recalls, “The Dairy Delight was often crammed full of high school kids at lunchtime, after school, and weekends. So many of us would ride up and down Getty, making multiple stops there, scoping out who was there, guys looking for chicks, and chicks looking for guys, just hoping to be found. The juke box got a lot of use.”
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