Cohort Outtake: Vintage Ice Cream Truck: What Prowled Your Neighborhood?


CC Cohort dmala77 just posted this old Chevy ice cream truck. And it’s still hard, given that the electronic clock from the camera is saying that this was shot “47 minutes ago”. Fresh from the freezer! So this brings back memories, good and bad. Of course, as kids we loved the ice cream truck, and I’ll try to find examples of what we bought from. But in my later years, I learned to hate the obnoxious blaring music with which they polluted the quiet summer days.

In Iowa City in the early sixties, there was still an old-school Cushman trike that plied our neighborhood. But it had a fairing over the back end, and a little canvas awning to provide a bit of shade for the poor driver, who was a high-school kid.I seem to remember a scheme that my older brother and some friends had, of overwhelming him with simultaneous requests in an attempt to defraud him. “I just gave you a quarter, so where’s my change!”

In the last year or two there, it was replaced by a more modern Cushman trike, now with front steering. Business must have been good back then.

In Towson, where me moved to in 1965, the not-so-Good Humor grump drove only Fords; a ’62 or so, initially. No chance of any “discounts” from him.

Later, he got upgraded to a new ’67.  Now I know these all just had bells (visible over the cab), with which to lure kids out to the street. But in more recent decades, the trucks started blaring the most incredibly obnoxious loud and repetitive music ditties. Here in Eugene, where we don’t have air conditioners, you could hear them many blocks away; half across town actually. If I remember correctly, I think I might have accosted one once, and told him never to come back in this neighborhood. Or maybe I’d just like to think I did. But for what it’s worth, they stopped coming a few years back. Realistically, especially in my neighborhood, parents mostly stopped feeding that Pavlovian response anymore. Good riddance. Unless they go back to using bells, anyway. And have better ice cream.