My father, Arlon Clifford “Shrimp” Schroeder, was born June 27, 1931, in Yorktown to Adolph Carl and Anna Ella “Annie” Kimmel Schroeder. Shrimp was the youngest of three boys. The oldest, Adolph III, was born June 25, 1922, and died the following day. James Elliott “Jimmy” was born Jan. 7, 1926 in Yorktown, and died Sept. 10, 1999 in Houston.
Jimmy married first, Jo Ann Schlinke, and second, Freddie Mann. Jimmy adopted Freddie’s son Jay Frederick Mann, who was born July 15, 1959, in Colorado Co., Colorado, and died Mar. 12, 2002, in Houston.
Shrimp married Clydelle Jacob on Dec. 26, 1954, in San Antonio. They were married in the chapel of the hospital in which Clydelle's mother, Clydelle Lantrip Jacob, spent 16 months because she contracted tuberculosis. Shrimp and Clydelle had three children, all born in Yorktown: Stuart Lee, born Nov. 2, 1956, who married Mary Jean Retzloff; Arlene, born Sept. 29, 1959; and Norma, born Aug. 16, 1961, who married Robert Edward Schendel.
As a child, Shrimp became interested in airplanes because of WWII. He collected cigarette cards depicting various planes, unfortunately becoming a smoker at a young age. He built gliders from bamboo kits, sometimes lighting them on fire and flying them off the barn roof. He had a horse which he rode frequently until he went under a low-hanging clothes line and nearly decapitated himself. His mother made him get rid of the horse after that. He also had a motor scooter he liked to ride.
Shrimp earned his nickname playing football for the Wildcats of Yorktown High School, because he weighed 145 pounds and played tackle. His girlfriend Clydelle said no one got past him. He also broke his arm and dislocated his shoulders so many times that he couldn’t take a jumpsuit off by himself.
But it wasn’t all play for Shrimp. He baled and loaded hay at a very young age, injuring his back and leading to a lifetime of problems with it. When he was thirteen years old, his father Adolph went to court and had his minor’s disability removed so that Shrimp could drive dump trucks to San Antonio and back.
He worked for a time at the Yorktown Tractor Company with his father and brother Jimmy. There was a slight problem in that Shrimp did most of the work and his brother spent most of the money, so it wasn’t too long before the Tractor Company went bankrupt.
Shrimp decided to open his own business so he could run things his way. In 1953, Shrimp opened the Dairy Bar, a hamburger and fast food restaurant in Yorktown. Besides hamburgers, the Dairy Bar was known for its French fries and onion rings, fried chicken, milk shakes and limeades, as well as a variety of other items. The restaurant was located next door to the High School and across the street from the Primary School, with the Elementary School being a block away. A lot of business from school kids came its way as a result.
In one corner of the restaurant he created Shrimp’s Tackle Shop where he sold and did repairs on rods and reels. He also sold all kinds of fishing lures and other tackle, as well as hunting and fishing licenses. Shrimp loved to hunt and fish, frequently working all day then taking his kids to the Copano bay bridge pier in Rockport to fish under the lights for hours at night.
Shrimp was an entrepreneur, always looking for ways to expand the family’s limited finances. He put several in-ground trampolines in the back of the business, charging kids to play on them. He ran an ice cream truck in the summers which played a metal disc music box to let the kids know he was coming. The ice cream he sold was made at the Dairy Bar. Shrimp acquired an old Ford Model A automobile and painted “Dairy Bar Express” on the sides to provide a little mobile advertising.
Arlon Clifford “Shrimp” Schroeder died on June 12, 1982 and is buried in Westside Cemetery in Yorktown, DeWitt Co., Texas. Clydelle Jacob Schroeder is still living at age 90, but she has Alzheimer’s disease and resides in a nursing facility.