The 80’s. The time when a stranger came to your house and offered you ice cream and candy and your parents were cool with it. Our ice cream man’s name was Danny. He wore a pinky ring and a short-sleeved button up shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve that he left open to his mid chest. He had a tattoo of a naked lady on his right arm and wore his dark hair slicked back like Craterface from Grease. We thought he was so cool although looking back, he was probably straight out of prison.
We would stop what we were doing when we heard the high-pitched jingle of the ice cream truck’s arrival. We’d yell, “ICE CREAM MAN!” and race to find money and catch him even though he drove only about 5 mph. If we missed him as he drove by, we’d wait for when he came back down the road on the other side. I wasn’t allowed to cross the street so my brother would carry me piggy-backed to the other side so I wouldn’t miss out. We’d impatiently wait in line hopping from one foot to the other trying to avoid burning our bare feet on the hot asphalt as we waited our turn. I usually got something that had a rock-solid frozen piece of gum in it or a push-up. It didn’t matter which one I got since it was so hot any ice cream melted all over my dirty hands before I had a chance to finish it. I loved it anyway.
Those were some of my best summer memories although, as a parent, I can’t help wondering what in the world my parents were thinking?