It's summer, and to borrow from Tennyson, "an old man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of ice cream." At least this old man's fancy does.
When I was a kid, summer meant the reappearance of the ice cream truck—cruising the streets of the neighborhood, playing a cheerful nursery rhyme, luring children out of their homes like the fabled Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Which, when you think about it, is a little bit creepy.
(By the way, when we first moved to this neighborhood, the ice cream truck that used to come around was seriously creepy. It was painted in flat gray primer and played strange, minor-key tunes like Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and the theme from Love Story. I don't think anyone was crazy enough to go near it, let alone buy ice cream from it. I haven't seen it lately, so I assume the owner went bankrupt. Either that, or he was arrested.)
Back where I come from, for the most part, ice cream is a treat reserved for warm weather. Ice cream stands close up tight for the winter, and it's a big deal when they open up in spring. When Loretta and I lived in Niagara County, New York, our most cherished summer rituals included frozen custard from Hibbard's in Lewiston, or double-dip cones from Mississippi Mudd's in Tonawanda, followed by a leisurely stroll along the Niagara River.
I feel sorry for people who live their whole lives in temperate climates, where ice cream is available anywhere, year-round. I don't think they can possibly appreciate it as much those of us who have lived in the "Frozen North."
Unfortunately, Loretta and I can no longer appreciate it, either. Since moving to California, we have both developed lactose intolerance.
So it goes.
|Mississippi Mudd's—I've never tried the chicken sandwich, but the ice cream is good.|