—written by Ami Trapaso
This piece was contributed by Ami Trapaso, a member of the former Foothills Writers Group. Watch for her future postings.
I can’t think of summer without thinking of the ice cream man.
The lone ranger of ice cream riding through the neighborhoods on his trusty steed, or should I say his bright orange van, handing out cool, refreshing treats to all the children with pocket change. I look back at it now and laugh, but it was life and death to a kid who missed the ice cream man when he came around.
You did anything to buy an ice cream from him. It didn’t matter if you had ice cream in
your own freezer at the time—the ice cream man’s always tasted better.
When you heard his song you ran as fast as you could to get money and then stood at the side of the road to wait for him to drive by. The wait seemed endless. My friends and I would talk about what kind of ice cream we would buy, hoping he would have all our favorites.
Some days our mothers only had enough for a Popsicle. I call those days the “Popsicle” days. I remember staring at my friends with envy when I was having a Popsicle day and they were having something really good.
The worst trouble I ever got into in my life was when I stole twenty cents from my mother’s wallet to buy a Popsicle from the ice cream man.
I remember all the treats I used to buy: nutty buddy’s, buried treasure, scooter crunches and banana Popsicles (this was my sister’s favorite). You just can’t find some of these any more.
We still have an ice cream man. He’s the same guy who drove around when I was a kid, although the van has changed color and the song isn’t the same. I still buy ice cream from him from time to time. I don’t recognize any of the brand names any more. I just ask for a nutty buddy or a Popsicle and hope he still had these.
We talk once in a while about the things I did when I was a kid. We have the time to talk now, since there aren’t so many kids waiting in line. I feel kind of sad about it, really. It’s like watching a hero die or something.
I mean, even the lone ranger comes back in reruns.