To ‘Dairy Queen Bob’
When I was little, I must confess that I never really did care for the Dilly Bar.
See, when I was little, there were times we’d go to Dairy Queen for the promoted “Hot Eats, Cool Treats” (This, of course, was before DQ started those ridiculous TV ads). I preferred the sundae or the cone option. There was just something about the Dilly Bar that made me not want one. The hard, flavored coating protecting a ring of soft-serve ice cream sounds appetizing, but when I lost a tooth in one I vowed to never eat one again.
But ever since reading a story on the Fargo Forum’s website, a superbly written one by Patrick Springer too, I feel bad that I made the vow, or had a dislike for Dilly Bars.. The story in question told of Robert Litherland, who ran the Moorhead Dairy Queen between March and October for years. In 1949 after seeing lines of people outside of a DQ near Fargo’s Island Park, Litherland got the idea to open a new franchise with his wife, Phyllis. They were met with skeptics early on, skeptics who have nowadays been proved wrong.
There’s a little bit of irony with the man who came to be known as “Dairy Queen Bob”. While he was peddling soft-serve ice cream, which eventually became a popular treat, he himself wasn’t a fan of it.
In 1955, two brothers invented the Dilly Bar after putting ice cream on a piece of paper, shoving a stick in it and dipping it in chocolate. While Litherland wasn’t one of the brothers who invented it, he helped the Dilly Bar gain momentum and popularity. To this day the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau considers the area to be the home of the Dilly Bar, which eventually became offered in cherry and butterscotch in addition to chocolate.
“Dairy Queen Bob” died earlier this week. He was 91 years old. His family, the people he brought joy to, and people who genera
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