Ice cream trucks welcome in Riverside back in the day

Opinion: Kosey Corner

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By Joanne Kosey


'Ice cream!" That what kids would shout when the sound of the ice cream truck's bells could be heard coming down the street. 

I bring up the subject, because the subject was brought up at the Riverside Village Board meeting on July 16. As usual, it did not go far.

Remember, I grew up during the years when you didn't sit in a car seat. Kids could sit in the front seat without a seatbelt. You slept in a crib where you didn't catch your arms, legs, or head in the slats and had bumper pads, all of which have been determined unsafe by today's standards. So while the ice cream truck seems to pose a clear and imminent danger in today's world, I'm glad I grew up in a different time.

Back in the day, the Good Humor truck would slowly wind its way through town with the driver ringing the truck's bells. The Good Humor man was always cleanly dressed in a white uniform and very polite.

We thought it would be fun to do or say something to him to find out if he really had good humor. He seemed to know what time we would be outside. The selection of ice cream treats was limited, but there was something for everyone.

My favorite was the chocolate covered chocolate bar. Don't remember anyone getting hurt, but we were careful because we wanted that ice cream. For parents, it also served as parenting tool. "If you don't finish your dinner, you can't have anything from the ice cream truck!" That also worked as a threat: no ice cream if you don't behave. 

It all worked and we survived and learned not to eat the ice cream in the warm sun so it didn't melt all over your arm. The size of the bars was bigger than today, and we won't even talk price. Sure, you can go to the store and purchase ice cream treats, but the experience and fun just isn't there.

Eddie Murphy does a comedy routine on this very subject, try and find it -- it is very funny and accurate.

So we had our ice cream picked up a piece of chalk, they didn't have the designated sidewalk chalk then, just regular old, white school chalk, and went to write on the sidewalks. Statements? No we drew the game hop-scotch, though we never knew why they called it that.

I don't know about you but I'm going to go get an ice cream bar and remember.

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