Ice Cream on Wheels


With it being Labor Day here in the States, and summertime coming to a close, I thought I’d share a wonderful childhood memory.

About three weeks ago while I was walking around the city, I spotted something that I honestly thought was no longer in existence…an ice cream truck.

For those of you who live in other parts of the globe, and may have never experienced an ice cream truck, let me explain….

An ice cream truck is like an ice cream service on wheels.

And during the summer months, these little trucks would roam throughout the neighborhood streets, either ringing a bell or playing pre-recorded music through a loud speaker.

(and the music always sounded as though it was being played backwards)

Everyday at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, as if by magic, we would suddenly hear a musical melody permeate the air.

Then all the kids in the neighborhood would start screaming at the top of their lungs and run into the house, as our mothers frantically dug through their purses trying to find some loose change. Then we would run back out into the street, screaming and waving for the truck to stop.

Now when I was a kid, we had the Good Humor ice cream trucks. And the driver (known as the Good Humor Man) always wore a completely white uniform (hat included).

(he looked like a cross between a doctor and a flight attendant)

And what always amazed me, was that I never saw a DROP of ice cream on the uniform…it was spotless.

(and being an OCD child…I noticed these things)

Not only could you purchase ice cream cones, but also ice cream sandwiches, ice cream on a stick, and icy cups, which came with a small wooden spoon that looked like a tongue depressor.

As I got a little older, the Good Humor trucks began to disappear and were replaced with Mr. Softee.

(see photo)

Now Mr. Softee offered a bit more. Not only could you purchase hard ice cream items, but also soft custard cones, snow cones, soft drinks, milk shakes, and pretzels.

However, the Mr. Softee drivers wore only street clothes…NO uniform.

(how TACKY)

But at least they STILL had the music playing.

Anyway…I was so glad that day, when I spotted an ice cream truck.

Glad to see that something, which brought such excitement and simple joy to me as child, was doing the same for others.

(of course now, the only difference is that the children are all standing there eating ice cream…and talking on their FRIGGIN’ cell phones!!)



Good Humor, everyone!


Happy Labor Day!

36 comments

  1. WE still have ice-cream vans over here Ron. It's arrival, most days during the summer, is heralded by strains of "Oh, oh, Antonio". When I was young, in the year dot, the ice-cream man 'Carlo' came round in a horse and cart and used to give us wafers to feed to the horse. Do you remember the little machine thingy they put a wafer in the bottom, filled it with ice-cream then a wafer on the top?

    Oh Happy Days!

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  2. Of course I know exactly what you are talking about!! Just YESTERDAY, I came home from another exhausting day of paper shopping and saw a little empty cup and plastic spoon on the table in the living room. OMG, the Mister Softee truck had come down the street. SERIOUSLY!!! Hubby and son each had one and they even got a small cup for the DOGS! So there I am, all parched and tired (did I mention I went paper shopping?) and there was NONE for moi. :(
    Well, really I wouldn't have wanted one because it's not the same if it gets put in the freezer for later. You have to have it right away, with the music (that music will drive you insane if you've got alot of kids on your block and the truck comes often) still playing.

    But it was on my mind... for a couple hours.... and didn't I make hubby take me to Baskin Robbins last night so I could have a little treat too!!!

    You'de think I would totally be off the ice cream kick as for a few years I worked at an Ice Cream Parlor. My first job actually. Really, I don't like it too often. I hardly ever buy it when we foodshop. But yes, that strange garbled music, the smell of exhaust fumes from the old trucks, kids running into the streets...... precious memories of childhood.

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  3. p.s. Oooh, highlighting Johnny Depp. Yummy! I like what happens when you click the link on your page. Fun stuff.
    I really have to think a bit, can't offhand say what my favorite JD movie is. He's so good!!!
    I cannot wait until Shantaram comes out. He bought the rights a long time ago. It's my favorite book!

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  4. Hi Ron!!

    LOVELY!! I remember creamsicles and big sticks... push-ups and whatever that big red, white and blue bomb thingy was.. And, OHHHHHH.. the music.. music to my ears, We called him, the "ice cream man," and he always arrived on time... We'd grab our change and run outside and flag him down... Good ol' daze!! Gotta love it!!!! Thanks for bringing back the good memories.... Bonne fête de travail to you, too.. ----Leesa : )

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  5. I remember those trucks Ron. We don't have them where we live since it is very rural, but I grew up in more of a city-like place and the trucks would come around all the time.
    As an adult though, I have often wondered just how much those men who drove those trucks hated being called "Mister Softie.?"

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  6. I thought ice cream trucks were a thing of the past as well, until we moved to the Dallas suburbs. They're alive and well up here! All over, in fact. And, when I visit my sisters in the Houston suburbs, I find them there also! It's so cool. Such a magical thing...ice cream rolling around in a truck for little kids to follow. I love it.

    Now, if only they had trucks rolling around with knock-off name-brand shoes and bags...can you imagine the stampede of women chasing it?! hehe

    I posted about you on my site today. In case your ears were burning and you didn't know why. :o)

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  7. I also had Good Humor trucks in my young life. To this day, I crave root beer popsicles. They've vanished.

    There aren't any trucks around here. Apparently they kept running over children and were banned. Honestly.

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  8. Ron: happy labor day sweetie. Guess what...I'm at work but don't feel sorry for me...they pay me a weeks worth for working today. Hum...but if there's a Hanna Montana marathon...I'll be very upset. hehehe.

    *yawn* It's kind of boring here today. The minutes more like 90 seconds eachand when you feel like those minutes are skpping by kind of quickly...someone comes into my office (CINDY) and tells me my clock is 20 minutes fast! CRAP!

    Ice cream...hey my niece will throw a fit if she hears a ice cream truck and I don't buy her an ice cream. The 4 year old genius insists on paying, so I slip her the money when we stop him or her...Funny...I'm still one of those that gets excited like back then...Give me a Sparkle ice cream...yay!

    Ciao honey...have a fab day.

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  9. *GiGGLeS*!!!

    Ice cream SANDWICH???!!!!

    Well I never!!!


    We do have the icecream vans though... we have this dodgy little beaten up blue van that drives down our street playing techno music! And the driver is a little old man (he looks like Cournel Sanders) wearing big fat chunky bling!!! He's adorable!

    And the children rampage down the street punching and kicking eachother to be the first to get served!!!

    It's quite a sight actually! LOL! xx

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  10. Evening Akelamalu!

    OMG...I'm so glad you have ice cream trucks in the UK, too!

    When I was writing this post, I was wondering if my friends in Europe would even know what the hell I was talking about!?

    I guess ice cream trucks are UNIVERSAL!

    I think it's so cool that you call your ice cream man by name...Antonio! That's so neat!

    And YES...I do remember the "waffer thingy" you're talking about, and it was my FAVORITE. Here in the States, I think they only sell those at Fair's and Carnival's now.

    But, YUMMMY...you've got me wanting one now!

    Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by today and sharing in this wonderful memory, dear lady!

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  11. Evening Crystal Chick!

    OMG...I just read through all the comments, and was so excited to read that ICE CREAM TRUCKS are alive and well, and still being enjoyed!!!

    (everywhere!!)

    Living in center city, we don't see much of them anymore, but I spotted this one around the Art Museum area (Logans's Circle) where there were LOTS of people mulling about. I'll tell ya, when I saw it...I just about shit! I had an instant "flash-back."

    It's so good to hear that you've got Mr Sofy in your neighborhood, M! And you are SO right about having to eat it immediately. I mean, it's a WHOLE EXPERIENCE.

    Hey...but I really love Baskin-Robbins too! You know what's really weird? I honestly crave ice cream MORE in the winter, than in the summer. I have no idea WHY...I just do. I'll literally walk down the street in the freezing temperatures and eat a cone!

    ODD!?!?

    I'm so glad you checked out the link I left for Johnny Depp. I know...isn't it COOL how the website sort of "fizzles" when you get there? And it also does it, when you click off.

    I love Johnny too. I own Edward Scissorhands and watch it regularly. I honestly can decide which one of his films I like best, either. For me, I like them ALL for different reasons.

    Thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing in this Ice Cream Truck memory of mine, M!

    Isn't it GREAT feeling like a kid?

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

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  12. Evening Leesa!

    Memories...light the corners of our minds!!!

    HA!

    So glad you have FUN memories of the ice cream truck, too!!

    Do they have them in France?

    oooh...oooh...and I DO remember that ice cream treat you're talking about. I can't remember the exact name, but it looked like a space ship or something!?!

    And PUSH-UPS!!! I totally forgot about those!! I remember that you had to eat them real FAST or they melted all over the place. And if you got a BLUE one...your lips and tongue were blue for a week!!!

    tee, hee!

    Thanks a lot for stopping by today and sharing in this awesome memory, Leesa!!

    I hope you had a lovely Monday!

    Happy Labor Day!

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  13. OMG, Nicole...that's a RIOT!!

    I never thought about that...Mr."SOFTY."

    HAHAHAHA!

    I honestly haven't seen one of these trucks for YEARS and YEARS...so when I spotted it, I got all excited like a kid! When my family moved to Florida, I don't ever remember seeing one. Florida is big on Polar Cup.

    (which is an icy treat...and very good)

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, Nicole.

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday.

    I spent the whole day outside enjoying the awesome weather we're having!

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  14. Howdy Rhea!

    OMG WOMAN....that is FREAKING HYSTERICAL!!!!

    Can you IMAGINE a truck with knock-off-name-brand shoes and bags????

    That would be BRILLIANT!!!!

    Hey, Rhea...that might be something you could start up yourself!

    And I'll tell ya, I bet you'd be a millionare and famous in a month!

    And on Opra!

    HA!

    oooh...oooh...you posted about me on your blog today? Is is something good or something evil you found out about my PAST?

    I've been out all day, so when I finish answering these comments, I'll definately stop by for a read. Thank you!

    And thanks for stopping by and giving me a HUGE laugh, Rhea!

    That was GREAT!!!

    Happy Labor Day!

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  15. Hi Nitebyrd!

    ooooh....ooooh...don't ya just LOVE the taste of Root Beer?

    I remember those popsicles that you're talking about, too!

    I love root beer ANYTHING!

    How about Root Beer Barrels????

    And it's funny you mentioned that you don't see ice cream trucks in Florida, because I just shared with Nicole that I NEVER saw ONE in the whole 20 years that I lived there.

    Now I know WHY!?!?

    WOW!

    It's always a pleasure to share with you, Nitebyrd.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

    And I hope you had a MAAAAVILOUS holiday!

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  16. Dear Miss Jones...

    HAPPY LABOR DAY to you, too!!

    So great seeing ya!

    Hey, listen...I hear ya! I had to work all weekend, EXCEPT for today...and because everyone in the WORLD is at the Jersey shore for the weekend...it was like a ghost town in work. We had one customer walk through, every hour.

    YAWN!!!

    We all chatted a lot and drank coffee, so the days went pretty fast, but business was SLOW.

    Ah, well...in another few weeks, we'll be so busy, we'll WISH we were slow.

    OMG, I'm so glad to hear you still have the ice cream trucks where you live!!!

    YAY!

    Oh, and that's too cute about slipping your neice the money so she can pay the ice cream person. What a WONDERFUL Aunt Spiky you are!

    Now go treat yourself to a Sparkle ice cream, Spiky.

    And thanks for always adding "Sparkle" here!

    Hope you have a FAB rest of your day!

    Ciao bella

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  17. Hiya Giggles!

    YAAAAAAAY...so they even have the ice cream trucks in Australian????

    Gosh...and here I was thinking that it was a U.S. thing!?!!?

    Even my friend (Akelamalu) from the UK said they have them there too!

    Hey, your ice cream guy sounds adorable. Like a little cartoon!

    You've neve had an ice cream sandwich?

    OMG, Giggles...they're freaking HEAVEN!

    It's two chocolate cookie waffers with vanilla ice crean sandwiched in the middle. And the best way to eat them, is to keep licking the sides until you can't stand it any longer...and then devourer the whole thing in one gulp!

    YUMMMY!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear one!

    It'a always a wonderful treat to talk to ya!

    Happy Labor Day to you!

    P.S. I watched a movie this morning, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which was made and filmed in Australian...and thought of you! GREAT film!

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  18. *Waves madly*

    HOLA!

    I'm back from Spain and madly trying to get through the 400 posts on my bloglines. Just to let you know I'm back and will catch up properly soon.

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  19. HOLA Trixie!

    YAY...you're back!!!

    Hope you had a FABULOUS time is Spain. I'm jealous, because I'm DYING to see it! Barcelona is heaven, I hear!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and say hi!

    Great seeing you, Trixie!

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  20. Here they are made from prehistoric decommissioned mail trucks and known as Manapua trucks. Manapua trucks will carry anything from fried noodle, candy, chips, ice cream, etc. Emblazoned with a gazillion stickers and name brands cut out of boxes pasted on the sides, hood and back. For example, just the cardboard cut out words 'Nestle crunch'. And yes, the Dog-awful tinny music, which sounds like it's hand cranked somehow, like a music box, because it slows almost to a stop then suddenly speeds up, as if someone has recranked the key on the music box. The song is "pussycat pussycat where have you been (I've been to London to visit the Queen)"
    It doesn't come up to my area though for 2 reasons: to save on gas, they try to stay in the neighborhoods around the school, and I don't think the ol' mailtruck could make it all the way up the hill.

    A close relative of the Manapua truck, and larger in size, is The Plate Lunch Truck, only without the nails-on-the-chalkboard music. This will usually park in industrial areas where people work and on college campuses. It features a little kitchen where they cook meals and little windows where people order.

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  21. OMG IN HEAVEN Debi...you MUST get yourself a blog soon and start writing!

    You freaking described the music PERECTLY!! I mean, PERFECTLY! That's exactly what it sounded like!!

    Pussycat...pussycat, where have you been!!!

    I was laughing so hard, I had tears streaming down my face with your description of all the TACKY stickers and brand name crap stuck on the side of the truck!

    That sounds LOVELY!

    And the truck you called The Plate Lunch Truck sounds like the services we have here in Philly.

    (oooh...you just gave me another idea for a post!!)

    Anyway, dear lady...thank you SOOOO MUCH for the wonderful laugh.

    God, that was great!

    I hope you had an awesome day!

    Happy Labor Day, Debi!

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  22. We have a guy who drives a ice cream van through the neighborhood on occasion. Sadly, he's a greasy unshaven dirtbag who I'm affraid is probably on the sex offenders list. Seriously, this guy is a real freak of nature. The first time my boys and I went up to his van and caught a glimpse of him, I wanted to tell him we were just visiting the area and we lived about two hundred miles away.

    Strangely, we haven't seen him at all this summer. I wouldn't doubt he's doing time somewhere.

    On a brighter note, a friend of my mom used to drive an ice cream truck when I was a little kid. I remember getting to go on the route with her a couple of times too. Oh baby that was fun, and you know I got my pick off the flavors! Good times.

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  23. HOLY SHIT Jeff...I'm pissing my pants reading your comment about the sex offender driver!!!!

    OMG...that's FUNNY, man!

    Like I shared, when I was kid they were always dressed in these freshly starched WHITE uniforms that made them look like Mr. Clean!

    Oh man...that must have been HEAVEN for you, going on route with the ice cream truck driver!!! Hell, I probably would have died from ice cream OD!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. And for sharing a wonderful memory and HYSTERICAL laugh with me.

    Hope you and your family had a great holiday!

    Later, gator!

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  24. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement! :)

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  25. Yup......smalltown Iowa--we've still got the fella with that musical ice cream truck who goes through.

    Imagine happy Mel when himself scrambles to meet him at the curb. LOL

    Pushup! Orange sherbet....mmmmm......and it was dang good!

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  26. Morning Mel!

    HA! I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!

    I can just picture you and himself flagging the ice cream truck down, holding sidewalk chalk and bubbles in your hands!

    (and Seemore and Seeless jumping up and down too!)

    So glad to hear you've got the the ice cream man in your neighborhood too, Mel!

    Isn't being a kid...GRAND!

    Hope you had a great holiday!

    Thanks for stopping by, Mel!!!

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  27. Morning Debi!

    You're so veelcome, my blogging friend!

    Have a great Tuesday!

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  28. I haven't seen an ice cream truck in ages!

    I think I need to take my daughter for a softie after her first day of school... yes... I must *wink*

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  29. I miss ice cream trucks. We don't have them here in the country. We have to drive to town for a snow cone.

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  30. Hiya Anndi!

    Me too...so when I saw this truck just sitting there...I got all excited and freaky!

    What a GREAT mom you are...a softie to celebrate the first day back at school!

    (but of course...you're a LIBRA!!!)

    Always nice seeing ya, Anndi!

    Enjoy your day!

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  31. Howdy Mama Dawg!

    oooh...oooh...a snow cone!!!

    To me, there's nothing more delightful than the taste of a snow cone and a soft pretzel. I don't know WHY...but the two of those things together is NIRVANA!

    Thanks for stopping by today, Mama Dawg!

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Labor Day!

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  32. Soft pretzel????!!!! Stop doing this to me-I'm a CARBoholic with flubber! LOL
    Now all day I'll be thinking about the damn pretzels at the mall with the jalapeno cheese dip!

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  33. Welcome Debi in Hawaii!

    OMG...you're the THIRD Deborah to read this blog!!

    How funny!

    Anyway...GREETINGS! And thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

    WOW...Hawaii! How COOL! That's the great thing about blogging, isn't it? You meet people from all over the globe.

    Me too, Debi...I'm definately a CARBoholic...and pretzels are one of my TOP carbs. Pasta is also!

    So nice meeting you!

    Feel free to stop by anytime...the door's always open!

    ALOHA!

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  34. LOL,
    no, dear. It's me, the artist formerly known as debi. You know, your PAWlish, manapua truck, plate lunch truck muse and inspiration! LOL I signed up, I'm now an official, avatarred, log in/log off, wax on/wax off member! (sorry, no blog yet.)

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  35. OMG Debi...I'm sitting here laughing my ass off!

    I had NO idea!!!

    How FUNNY!

    Hey...I just clicked over to check out your avatar! What a pretty lady you are!

    I'm so excited that you SIGNED UP!!!

    YAHOO! Be sure to let me know when you get the blog going!!

    Thanks for stopping by, Debi!

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  36. Oh pooh! I'm like one of those little troll dolls...small and ugly-cute. ROTFLMAO
    That self-photoshoot took a lot of warpaint er...makeup, and because I had tried on a bikini, I shut all the windows, blinds, etc. and forget that 'women glisten' bullcrap, I was *sweating* my ass off like a pig...a small, ugly-cute pig! LOL

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