Saturday, June 03, 2006

The ice cream man cometh...

The summer I was four, I wouldn't eat anything but ice cream. I guess my mother tried to starve me out of the idea but I managed to escape the house every day for a week and make my way to the corner store and grab a frozen treat out of the cooler in the front. I think I was pretty enterprising because we lived on the second floor of that house and I had to cross a street to get to the store. Probably would have gotten away with it all summer except that I didn't pay. The owner just kept a running tab of what I took, and when my Dad went to get the Sunday paper he presented him with the bill. I don't know who he was more mad at, me for stealing the ice cream or my mom for letting me wander the neighborhood alone but I remember eating a lot of ice cream after that.

I don't eat it much now, but for most of my life, a day without a cold confection was a day not worth living. As I got older, my favorite part of going shopping in Manhattan was the lemon ice they used to sell on the street. It was good back then, real Italian ice, not that fake frozen lemonade they sell nowadays. And once I lived on my own there was many an night I sucked down a pint of Haagen Daz and called it dinner.

Acidman got me thinking about ice cream trucks. When I was a kid we had three different guys that would come around. One was a guy on white three wheeled motorcycle with a bell and a little freezer on the back. I remember the guy was really cute and the ice cream was cheap, I guess to make up for the small selection. I can't remember the name of it. Maybe it was Daisy and they made the kid wear a white uniform. Might explain why they're no longer in business.

The Good Humor truck came around every night. I don't remember it having a song, just bells but it wasn't my favorite in any event. I always held out for Mr. Softee. Man, I loved those chocolate dip chocolate cones. The truck had a song that you could hear from the next block away... the creamiest, dreamiest soft ice cream, you get from Mr. Softee.... giving us plenty of time to wheedle the change out of Dad. Forget Mom, she always tried to pawn off homemade koolaid popsicles instead.

Well, like I always say, life is funny, but it's not a joke. I was cruising Scott's blog today and discovered the guy who invented Mr Softee just died.

Rest in peace Mr. Conway and thanks for the memories.


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