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By Annie Rice
A man in Carterville has the scoop on Superman ice cream. Have no fear, though; there isn’t Kryptonite in this sweet treat—unless you try the Kryp-tonite Delight, a strawberry syrup soda mixture with green, Superman shield- shaped ice cubes. Larry Tamminen owns Supertam on 66, the largest Superman museum that sells ice cream along Route 66. The shop holds over four thousand memorabilia pieces, ranging from puppets to posters. Larry’s love for the Man of Steel inspired him to collect memorabilia for thirty years.
“It was putting two hobbies together,” Larry says about both of his loves for Route 66 and Superman.
The yellow walls of Supertam are lined with every memorabilia item you can imagine: cups, figures, clocks, photos, and autographed collectibles. The oldest piece dates to 1944.
Larry’s wife, Barbara, scoops out the Superman ice cream, which is colored red, blue, and yellow, like Superman’s outfit.
“The kids love it because of all the colors,” Larry says, “The kids know exactly what they want when they walk through the door.”
The name Supertam combines the “super” in Superman and the first three letters of Larry’s last name, “tam.” He was forced to drop the original name after Warner Bros. sent him a cease-and-desist letter; the Superman logo on the sign can stay until it breaks, though.
And no legal battle could thwart his growing collection. Two-thirds of Larry’s memorabilia is at Supertam. The rest is hidden away at his secret headquarters.
“You never stop collecting,” Larry says.
Supertam on 66 Carterville just outside of Joplin. The shop closes for the season on Halloween.