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For over 43 years, the Snack Wagon operated on the southwest corner of the Allright Parking Lot at Pearl and Liberty in Beaumont, Texas, opening in October 1949 and closing on December 1st, 1992. During this time, Mr. Roy H. Towell Jr. and his wife, Juanita, personally served frozen custard, as well as an array of other offerings such as the best hotdogs in town and fresh, hot peanuts.
This particular scene captures the evening of Tuesday, January 17th, 1956, which was a significant day in Beaumont as RCA's newest singing sensation, Elvis Presley, performed at the City Auditorium alongside other Grand Ole Opry stars with tickets for only $1. The painting depicts patrons of the Snack Wagon grabbing a bite to eat before the live show or heading to the People's Theatre to watch the double feature of "It Came from Beneath the Sea!" and "Creature with the Atomic Brain!"
The artist, who is dedicated to ensuring the authenticity of his nostalgic 1950s era paintings, notes that this scene includes classic elements such as the diner car with Pepsi and Seaport Coffee signs, hot dogs, popcorn, and fresh roasted peanuts, which were popular Americana staples for over 30 years. The Snack Wagon was also a favorite lunch spot for downtown Beaumont workers from the Beaumont Enterprise, Gulf States Utilities, and Southwestern Bell Telephone. The scene also includes classic cars such as a 1956 Oldsmobile and a 1955 pink Cadillac, as well as the artist's own 1941 Cadillac Series 75 Limousine, complete with a parking ticket on the windshield wiper.
Description by the Artist
Watch this video presentation by the artist describing the painting process, the research, and the hidden trivia in the painting.
The original painting is 36x24" on masonite panel, completed in 1996.
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