Saturday, June 14, 2008

It Was Just an Ice Cream Cone

Double-dip chocolate almond in a waffle cone. Two scoops from Braum's surely equal every lick of a pint, yet one doesn't wind up with a 4" chocolate circle around her face from shoving her head inside a cardboard carton. It's just a measly old ice cream cone, for cryin' in a bucket. I read a cookbook in the van, while the fellows went inside to buy the treats. (<----Therein may lie the root of my heffalumpishness.)

This sure is a lot of ice cream, I thought. It's uncouth to broadcast how much one paid for a prize, but my tale won't float (float -- root beer floats are good) without imparting that tidbit of information. It cost $1.99. I have to not think in those terms, though, because that measure of money would supply ice cream for several cones at home. We'll file the double-dip in a waffle cone in the entertainment category.

Then, I wonder if they have offerings for wee children. What would they charge for them? And I realized how old I am...

When I was a child, and when the budget would allow, Mother would take us to The Dairy B for soft serve ice cream. A small cone, which was taller than even my giraffe tongue could control, cost 5¢. Mother, and sometimes Mickie, three years my senior, would get large cones for a whopping 10¢. The boys, 5 and 6 years younger than I, would get baby cones. They were free.

If we didn't go to The Dairy B on those special, summer occasions, it would be the A&W stand, just across the parking lot from the dairy. A regular root beer, about 10 ozs., in a frosty mug, cost 5¢. Large was 10¢. Mother always got a large. The boys -- baby mugs, and they were free.

Flanders, a department store. They didn't have a cash register. They did have Buster Brown shoes, and I was able to have a pair one year. I loved the little, round label in the heel of the shoe -- a boy and his dog. When you made a purchase at Flanders, the sales clerk would write the information on a small piece of paper, put it and your money in a little, locking cup attached to a pulley, then pull hard on the dangling cord. That cup would fly up to the open loft, where sat someone who would open the cup, inspect the contents, and send your receipt and change back down. Flanders was the most exciting place in town to shop because of that pulley.

Then I thought of the gas wars in the late '60s. Most of the stations were charging 17¢ a gallon. It was 15¢ in the Mosby Flats. What a rumble there was, when gasoline edged its way to 25¢ a gallon.

During the summer, The Beyer Theater ran free movies, once-a-week, for children. Before you entered the theater, for 10¢ or 15¢, you could fill a little, brown, paper sack at the candy store a few doors down the street, and if jaw breakers were among your selections, you'd still have some candy left when you (safely) walked back home after the movie.

Grandmother and Grand Aunt Ada never slipped their legs into a pair of slacks; they were ladies. Grandmother always wore a little pillbox hat to church. She wore a tailored, straw hat that day she took me fishing in the tiny river behind the hotel which was her home. She sure looked funny to me in that hat, the likes of which I'd never seen her wear before and never did again.

Young men married young women. It would have been the scandal of the decade, if a couple had lived together outside of marriage. It simply didn't happen. And I thought Tommy S. was funny. I was a grown woman before I understood that his strange speech and flambuoyant mannerisms signified a serious problem was afoot, probably resulting from his mom having dressed him in dresses when he was young, which he announced one day in the midst of a student council meeting. I wonder if that was a cry for help.

A paper cup noisily slammed into the cup holder. "Finished!"

Still licking, thoughts interrupted, I turned to look at the malt cup and picked it up. "You got a medium this time, didn't you."

"We all did," came a duet from the back seat.

"Oh, you got malts too? I guess that makes me the conehead."

"Yep," answered the trio, in perfect and gleeful harmony.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. ~Proverbs 16:6


Cousin Annie said...

What a nice little stroll back in time...& all because of an ice cream cone!

Kate said...

I visit the Dairy B sometimes. My friend lives in the Springs. :) It's no longer 5 cents...but it's still pretty cheap by today's standards. I always think of you and my mom. :)

~CarolineNot said...

Katie, I can hardly believe you go to the Springs or the dairy. Creates a sweet image in my mind. Ü

Rikki said...

I still remember Mom taking me to buy new saddle shoes each school year. Do they even make saddle shoes now? You need to buy an ice cream machine (preferably electric). It's our new hobby. We made Mango-flavored last night: 1 cup whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 2 fresh mangoes. Delish.

~CarolineNot said...

Mmm-mmm-mmm. Your ice cream sounds inviting. Almost inviting enough to send me to the barn for the ice cream maker.

Now mangoes aren't the ovoids that taste like Pinesol, are they? Is that papayas? If mangoes taste like Pinesol, I'm going to have to do a fruit substitute.

I'm 'fraid those saddle oxfords made an indelible mark on the family. I think I subjected McSpazzy to only one pair, which may have been because they were hard to find, especially in the sticks. Did your Niblet escape the tradition?