|Benson at WTLS Radio
Benson was a local legend
By Michael Butler
Waymon Edwin Benson has passed away. The longtime owner of the Snowflake Dairy Bar died on Friday, May 1.
*Below is an article written about Waymon in May of 2012.
Waymon Benson is one of my favorite people. I've known him since I was a little boy.
I remember visiting his Snowflake Dairy Bar on the weekends. When I was a young disc jockey at WTLS, he would regularly drop off ice cream treat. I always looked forward to his banana splits.
Benson also recorded music. "They told me Waymon was not commercial," Benson said. "My middle name is Edwin, so they called me Eddy."
"The Lonesome Tavern Blues" was a popular record from the 1950s. We played it on the radio. It was always a local favorite.
Benson met Eddy Arnold in Nashville when shopping around his music. "He played 'Lonesome Tavern Blues.' His steal guitar player Roy Wiggins came out of the back and said, 'We'll take that one.'"
Benson's records can be found on the internet. Some of his singles sell among collectors in the $25 range.
"I put (the record) out myself in March of '55," Benson recalled. "The worst thing that could happen did happen. Elvis Presley came out the very week that mine came out with Rock 'N Roll. It killed all of country music for a while."
Benson, who claims to be 22 years old, ran the Snowflake Dairy Bar for more than 38 years with his wife, Dot. "It was hard work," he said. "My wife got so tired of it. I got tickled at her the night we closed. She quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. whe she walked out that door. 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, I'm free at last.'"
The couple used to ride about Tallassee in their blue pinto with a bumper sticker that read, "Yes, I am a movie star."
"I got my wife out of a dime store in downtown Atlanta," Benson said. "We had 58 good years together.
"I asked the Lord, 'When her time (comes), would you see that she's in that rocking chair she loves so good.' (She) told me, 'I'm scared to die, but if you hold my hand I won't be afraid.' One morning, she was sitting in that chair. She didn't look right. I grabbed her hand (and) felt her pulse. I felt her last two heartbeats. She got her wish, and the Lord answered my prayer."
Benson still resides in East Tallassee. His house is on Highway 14, the road that with his pull, became a four-lane highway. "Governor (John) Patterson said the reason I always got what I want in this town, I start at the top," Benson remembered. "I was the first one that ever asked him to run for governor. He always felt indebted to me.
"I said, 'Give my town something!'
"He said, 'How 'bout a four-lane?'
"I said, 'You can do that?'
"He said, 'I not only can, I will.'
Good guys like Waymon Benson are hard to come by. I'm sure most Tallasseeans agree, I'm glad he came our way.
Reader Comments (May 8, 2012)
Where online can you get Eddie Benson records? I LOVE WAYMON BENSON, so does Linda,my wife - Jack Mitchell
Good Article! Thanks for publishing that one! Brings back memories. I have been to that Dairy Bar many many times growing up and also taken my children there as well. Daddy took us on Sunday nights after church most of the time in the summer. :) Great memories. Thanks to Wayman and his wife and family for that. WE HAD A LOT OF THINGS ON THE EAST SIDE AT ONE TIME! There was a movie theatre in East Tallassee, a drive in theatre on Macedonia Rd, Benson's Snow Flake, the Cinderella on Macedonia Road, Bobby's cafe on Main St, 3 or more Super markets (Carrville Supermarket of the Whitakers, Preston Gregorys Supermarket on Sims, and The Friendly Food Store owner Brewer Webster. There was a cafe where the vet is now in the old Tallapoosa City near the Sone Creek Bridge - ran by maybe Ronald Brantley ? not sure of that and then a lady.There was a cafe in Carrville before it burned way back. Ran by Tom Hammock or one of the Hammocks. Moncrief's Clothing started (I think I am correct) on this side of the river next the the Carrville Drug Store. There was Snake Baker's cafe on the main drag there next to the row of stores and he had the best hamburgers in the country. He took the hamburger bunn and warmed it on the griddle where he fired the hamburger patties and let it get just brown enough and then put his special sauce, the pattie on it and it was good good good. I can just smell them and taste them. Wow - memoreis are great. I am getting old! I remember lots. Been in Tallassee basically all my life. I left a couple of times but came back each time.... I LOVE TALLASSEE ALABAMA! THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE TALLASSEE ALABAMA in this world! - Carol Lynn
If you do not know Waymon Benson then you are not from Tallassee. In his Younger Days he stood up for what he Beleived in. He was one of the ones who got Carrville to merge with Tallassee. I don't know why he never ran for Mayor. He and his Late Wife " Mrs Dot", had a wonderful life together. I remember he use to cut hair , He had a Barber Shop at their home, Next door was the Famous Snow Flake Dari Bar. The best Milk Shakes and Hamburgers around. He had little signs posted all on the front of the Dari Bar, On Sunday's you very lucky to get a parking place there. It is a Blessing to know Waymon and his Late wife Mrs Dot. Two of the finest people anyone could ever know. GOD Bless you Waymom, Wish you and your family all the Best - Brenda Moore