Chips, Cookies and The Iceman Cometh
Like many of my generation, I am awed by the many leaps forward that humankind has made since I was born. Miracles that have transpired in only the past 50 years or so. Most are good, some are not. That’s the way of evolution.
How can youngsters today comprehend the simple pleasures we had when I was a child? Like my mother giving me a quarter to walk to Johnson’s Cookie Co. and buy a big bag of broken cookies that had a neat-o variety of the treats. A quarter bought a nice big greasy bag of broken potato chips from the Geiser Co., too.
Ah, and how lovely it was to harass the ice man when he stopped to deliver a 25/50/75 block of ice to our houses. He would grab that big block of ice with a huge, vicious-looking, black “hook”, throw it over his shoulder and take it into the house.
When he came out, he would take a less evil-looking ice pick and chip off pieces of ice for us kids hanging around him. He acted very tough and hollered at us, but we knew he didn’t mean it!!
The “25/50/75″ was on a cardboard sign that the homeowner put in their windows to indicate what size (pounds) ice block they wanted that day. The “icebox” had a big tray underneath it which always made a mess when my Dad had to empty the melted ice. So you can imagine the amazement when the first refrigerators were produced and we actually had one of these wonders in our kitchen!! The poor ice man never cometh again.
This reminds of me of milk that was delivered to our door then. Glass bottles, quart size. In extreme cold weather, the cream on top would freeze and pop the lid on the bottle. Because it was a simpler time, we thought it was pretty funny to see that tube of frozen cream erupting from the bottle, with the lid sitting jauntily on top.
Once the cream thawed and dripped back into the bottle, it was a simple matter to shake-shake-shake and Ta-Dah! — 100% milk.
Guess we were easily amused then.