When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about Summer was playing out in the sun all day long, and waiting for the sound of the Good Humor truck to drive around my neighborhood. The ice cream man always came at the perfect time, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., right after dinner, and when I was back outside playing with my friends. Most of the time, we were out on our bicycles, and we’d race around the neighborhood to follow the Good Humor truck. There was no ice cream in the world that tasted better than the ice cream from the Good Humor ice cream man.
Waiting for the sound of the Good Humor truck and running to get ice cream from the ice cream man became a Summer tradition for me and I’m sure for many American kids. What Summer day wasn’t complete until you had ice cream from the Good Humor man?
Even as an adult, I’d spend my Summer evenings waiting for the jingle of the ice cream truck bells. Some things you just can’t ever outgrow.
Last summer was Baby G’s first summer. She was only a few months old, however, and too young to know about the meaning of ice cream. I’d take her around in her stroller in the Summer evenings, and I’d whisper to her to listen for the bells of the ice cream truck. Here in New York, it’s the Mister Softee ice cream truck. I was excited for this Summer because I thought she’d be old enough to listen for Mister Softee.
But the Summer has come, and shortly, it will turn into Autumn. Because of the recession and the outrageous prices of gasoline, our neighborhood ice cream man, Mister Softee, has retired. I ran into him at the park one weekend, and I asked him where he had been. I had already surmised that the high prices of gasoline had driven him out of business, but I was still crestfallen when he confirmed my thoughts.
“I just cannot afford it no more!” he explained.
He had been the neighborhood ice cream man for almost forty years.
I am old enough to have experienced the days when milk and eggs used to be delivered to your doorstep, although it was already coming to the end of its days when I was a kid. I still hear some elderly people reminisce about those days, and I wonder now, if I will be one of those people that can’t ever get over the end of the Good Humor and Mister Softee days.
“Without ice cream, life and fame are meaningless.” ~ Unknown