I spent a decade living in a small town
nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Taos, New Mexico.
Best known for it's stellar skiing, fine arts, exceptional cuisine,
and the kind of breathtaking scenery that allowed one to indulge in
every outdoor activity you can imagine.
But one thing Taos didn't have was an "ice cream man."
The most I'd seen driving around there was an old school bus
that had morphed into a Grateful Dead mural on wheels.
I wonder if the people who sold ice cream from it lived in that bus too...
hey, they do that out there!
Did you have an "ice cream man" in your old neighborhood?
When I was growing up, we had an ice cream man,
and where I lived, he ruled the streets.
He stocked the best of the best...
Not only a full display of good humor products,
but tons of candy & all the crazy practical joke toys that
kids loved and parents hated.
Like those snappers you'd throw on the ground that sounded like a firecracker.
Cherry bombs. Stink bombs. The works. Even parachute men!
He had his own special song that played,
and his name was proudly displayed above the windshield...
When all the kids on the block heard his tune,
we would run into our houses like Speedy Gonzales
to raid our piggy banks or beg our parents for spare change
so we could score bomb pops or strawberry shortcake ice creams.
Of course, we had bionic hearing back then,
we could hear his song playing from blocks away.
Looking back, I wonder if he had subliminal messages in his music...
It would literally put us in a trance,
as if he were The Pied Piper luring us in.
Now, there was this kid, Robbie Totino*
(* names have been changed to protect the innocent)
I swear he was "pig pen" from the Peanuts comic strip in human flesh....true story.
This was the dirtiest kid I had ever seen, even to this very day.
He had a mouth full of metal caps loooong before 'them rappers' were doin' it!
Time after time, and without fail, he'd show up with a fat wad of cash at Felix's window.
He always had 3 times as much money as we did!!
He'd stuff root beer bottle caps, sweet tarts, jolly rancher sticks, fun dip & candy rings
in his pockets while he greedily stocked up on all the good toys.
Ahhhh, yes, those were the days....
when we were wild eyed and carefree...
sitting on the curb with sticky fingers & cherry red stains on our lips
from the popsicles we'd just consumed...
The days when we'd ride our bikes alll dayyy looong.
The days when we'd build go carts
and act out scenes from X-Men comics in the streets...
Torturing locusts by day and catching fireflys by night.
Those were the days...
Nowadays, I like to fanc-i-fy my ice cream whenever possible.
I like to scoop ice cream in liquor glasses and chop up fresh ingredients.
Something about it makes it feel...special...indulgent.
Pictured above is good ol' fashioned vanilla ice cream
served in a cobalt blue margarita glass and topped with blueberries, kiwi & coconut.
The other is served in an eclectic clear martini glass with strawberries, chocolate, and sliced almonds.
How fun is that?!!
What about you?
If you could choose any toppings you wanted,
how would you dress up your ice cream?
I'm thinking it's time for an ice cream party...
yet another great way to draw in the youth
and stir up some meaningful conversation :)