In Praise of Ice Cream “Novelties”

May 31st, 2012 § 0 comments

For many years the Good Humor ice cream truck was omnipresent in the United States; the jingle of its bells the un-official sign that Summer had begun (no matter if it were only April!). The trucks dispensed super ice cream bars (Burnt Almond and Coconut were HG’s favorites) and their appearance on hot city streets was an occasion for joy. In New York, Bungalow Bar was a competitor. The Bungalow Bar truck played a cheery tune to announce its appearance. However, their bars were inferior. During the Great Depression of the 30’s Good Humor trucks operated six months of the year and created employment opportunities. Working for a commission on what they sold, some Good Humor drivers made as much as $100 a week (a huge sum in those days). For some reason Ice cream bars were known in the industry as “novelties.” HG enjoyed a good number of “novelties” in his youth. In particular, HG loved the Creamsicle — orange ice enclosing creamy vanilla. Other faves: the classic Popsicle, the Chocolate Fudgesicle and the delicious Eskimo Pie. Simple summer pleasures that still exist today. One does not however. And it was the greatest, the king of all ice cream novelties. HG is speaking of the extinct Melorol — an ice cream shaped like a pipe that fitted into a special cone….Perhaps, when HG passes and heads to Heaven (where else would he go?), Melorols will still be served along with all the other treats of a disappeared and delicious past.

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