Sunday, September 9, 2012

Last Ice Cream Sandwich of the Summer

An ice cream truck comes by our house on Thursdays and Sundays in the summer.  I can hear it's music when it turns off the arterial into our neighborhood.  I take my money and stand at the end of the driveway.  I am 10 years old again.  I know what each item looks like because I have studied the pictures on the truck.  They have not changed in my lifetime of hoping for an ice cream sandwich or a creamsicle.  Here is a picture that is labeled "Vintage Ice Cream Truck".

This could be me and my school friends. Apparently many of us still crave the indulgence.  This summer Dove Ice Cream set up a truck in Minneapolis to dispense free Dove Bars along with a five minute massage.

The ice cream trucks of my youth often played Scott Joplin's rag, The Entertainer.  By the time my children ran to the corner for ice cream Frank Mills had composed his piano song Music Box Dancer.  The tune had been forming in his mind when his young daughter brought him her broken music box to fix.  The rest is history.  Music Box Dancer became the #1 record in 26 countries.  Recordings, sheet music and arrangements together have sold  6 million copies making Frank a wealthy man who could retire to Vermont and the Bahamas.  The ice cream truck in my neighborhood, and hundreds of others around the world, plays the Music Box Dancer".  Here it is:

Two final thoughts: during this political season much has been made of the role of "small business" in the American economy.  Most ice cream trucks are owned by their drivers.  There are very few chains or franchises.  These are hard working Americans with a shared sweet tooth.  And - running to the sidewalk to meet the truck is not just for kids or day-dreaming "vintage" kids.  After her loss in the semi-finals of the U.S. Open last week,  tennis-great Maria Sharapova licked her wounds with her choice from the ice cream truck around the corner from her hotel: vanilla with rainbow sprinkles.

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