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Family has the scoop on ice cream enterprise

February 05, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

CLEAR SPRING - John Compton's got a sweet tooth and it's affecting his entire family.

"We've been talking about doing this for the last five years," Compton said as he stood inside his "under-construction" dream.

Compton's Ice Cream Shoppe is scheduled to open in April at 14911 National Pike, just west of Wilson's Store.

The location has a special meaning for Compton since he used to work there as a high school student when it was a gas station.

"First it was Highway Oil and then Hi-Lo Oil," Compton said. Vacant for four years, Compton had been keeping an eye on the site and last fall it became available.

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Extensive remodeling began right away and motorists driving to and from the Clear Spring area began wondering what was going to be coming to the derelict building.

Finally the Comptons put a sign in the window and everybody's curiosity was satisfied.

But now the cravings for sweets have been unleashed.

"If you live out this way and want ice cream, you always had to drive into Hagerstown for it," Compton said.

Not any more!

"We're going to have banana splits, all kinds of ice cream and sno-cones," Compton said. The soft variety of ice cream will be the specialty.

Compton said there will be two walk-up windows and one drive-through. There will be no inside, sit-down service, he said. At least not for now.

Compton's mother, Louise, will be manning the shop when it opens in April. The hours of operation will be set later.

"I haven't worked outside the home for quite a while," she said. But she added that she is looking forward to the experience.

Her husband, Buddy, also is planning to pitch in and help, especially during busy times.

For the next month or so, the remodeling inside and out will be completed. That includes the installation of a handicapped-accessible bathroom, which has been a major undertaking but required by law for employees.

Changes to the parking lot also were required, including closing off the westernmost entrance to the site because it was deemed too close to the hill for safe use, Compton said.

When he's not remodeling the shop...or thinking about ice cream, Compton runs J.D. Compton Auctioneering and Premier Industrial Auctions.

"Those are businesses that flourish when economic times are bad and when they are good," Compton said.

The love of ice cream seems to know no "time," economic or otherwise.

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