I grew up in Iowa, right outside the city of Cedar Rapids. And, no, not on a farm like you probably think. Not everyone who lives in Iowa lives on a farm, has a corn field, or has chickens and cows or maybe both. I didn't have any of that, but still our closest neighbors were about 1 mile down the road.
Living so far from others, you can understand that we didn't have garage sales or any block parties.
Now I live in Los Angeles, in a neighborhood where there is something I didn't get to experience when I was young. I only got to see them on TV and man, I always thought they were so COOL!
THE ICE CREAM MAN!!
Now that Springtime is here I am like a 10 year old [or maybe my brain stopped maturing around that age....] when I hear the faint sound of the ice cream truck music dancing in the air. The little tinkling jingles it plays puts a smile on my face and a pep in my step. :) It's crazy. My wife would contest that she can tell me something a hundred times and the only response she gets is "What did you say"? ...But I can hear the dang songs of a truck serving frozen treats like no one else. I have Superman's dog's hearing then.
The truck can be 3 miles away and I'll jump up and run to the window, looking down the street waiting for the glimpse of the one think that I dearly wanted when I was a little kid. Ohhhh, yeah! And, our neighborhood not only has ONE, we have lots...and I LOVE SEEING THEM ALL!
Let's meet The Peddling Lords of Sugar and Cream, shall we? :)
We have the Russian Green Machine...
We'll start with this guy first because he patrols our neighborhood the most. He drives a 1983 Dodge van with a conversion kit on the roof. It gives this Russian juggernaut more head room. The paint is a very organic hand-brushed multi-layered paint of a very pleasant green pea color. With a nice array of vintage and antique ice cream stickers on the side that shows you what ice cram sandwiches looked like in the 50's. This ice peddler has a very colorful accent as you might have guessed. As a matter of fact, I love to order bomb pops just to hear him say "bomb pop" with his Cold War Communist accent. I tell you...a 10 year old's mind. :)
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Next is the Black Ice Cream Truck of Death...
This one is way upscale for serving ice cream to kids. I mean, it's a brand new truck with brand new stickers. Verrry nice. It also has the sound system from the last Megadeth tour, I think. I still have it ringing in my ears.... no wait, is it?.....Nope, false alarm. It's also painted in a beautiful shade of Death Black...such a great color for hauling around sugary ice treats on a hot summer day for little munchkins. I mean, if they ever wanted to do a James Bond Movie here, this truck would be great as a henchman. "OK, Mr. Bond, The 5 tons of Rocky Road will cover your body...and you will freeze and sufficate all at the same time. BWAH HAH HAH!" :)
I haven't actually gotten any ice cream from these guys yet, because they are always one step ahead of me. No, I'm not scared...but, they ARE always lurking.
Lastly, is the Little Truck That Could...
This one is, well, let's just say it's a couple years past its prime. This truck is super small. I mean it could have been a delivery truck for the Keebler elves in a past life. This one is also hand painted in a very off white shade...and I mean VERY off white. But, I've got to give it to the guy who drive it. He probably couldn't afford any stickers, so he hand painted pictures of icy treats on the side. Michelangelo he is not...more like Pablo Picasso. The side also displays a colorful description of each item...but the descriptions are a muddled mess of something between English and Spanish. You sort of get the idea of what you are about to order. The easiest way to order though, is to just point at a picture and say "por favor". I've only ordered from this truck once out of hesitant desperation. Hesitant because the pictures on the side kind of look like a cockroach enjoying a Choco Taco. Seriously, I don't know where he got the idea of that image from and I don't really want to find out.
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Now, do you sort of understand how much I like the ice cream man?? I will end with this story...
One day in the mid-afternoon, I was at home working on my computer. My ice cream senses started tingling. The excitment started buzzing through the air like an electrical storm had just come into town. I ran to the window like it was the first snow on Christmas Day and Saint Nick just landed the sleigh on the roof. I hear The Green Machine coming and it's almost ready to turn onto our street!
Imagine a cartoon puff of smoke...a tornado whipping threw the house and off to the street corner as I leap to get some sweet treats for my sweetheat and me. All of a sudden, it was like a cheesy action film. I went to pull out some cash and a horrible feeling of forgetting my money came over me. I let out a moan... "OHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO!" It's all happening in super slow mo. Before you know it, I turn on the Super Speed and run faster then a speeding locomotive back to the house. I leap the steps in a single bound and sweep through the house in a "Hi Ho Silver". Then, before you know it, I'm back out to the curb before a single grain of sand falls in the hour glass. I did this entire action before The Green Machine even finishes his turn. I'm happy to say that my baby and I had a wonderful ice cold sugary Treat.
Like I say,...the mind of a 10 year old. :)
I hope you have a wonderful summer!
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