I remember when we were kids there was one thing we could count on every summer day without fail, the ice cream man! If there’s one sound that evokes memories of my youthful summers it that tinny sounding ice cream truck jingle. Between 3 or 4 every afternoon we’d hear that familiar tune coming down the street and run out to greet the Good Humor Man! With money in hand we’d flag him down and race for the rear door of the truck and the treasure trove of delicious treats inside. What frozen delight would we buy? Maybe a ‘Dubl Stix’ twin popsicle, a ‘Strawberry Shortcake Vanilla Ice cream Bar’ or the ‘Candy Centered Crunch Bar’? Or how about a ‘Choc o Nut’ drumstick or a ‘Double Sundae’? Pretty tough decisions for a little kid, but we managed to make them! And even when we didn’t have money we still went out front and waved to him as he drove by.
On neighborhood streets in communities throughout the nation this scene played out over and over again, day after summer day, for decades. The ice cream truck played a significant part in our childhood summers. Waiting for the ice cream man those many afternoons, then waiting our turn to make a purchase taught us about patience and all those choices we had to make most likely helped us to become better decision makers! So in addition to satisfying our craving for ice cream, we learned a view valuable lessons as well. Yep, those were the days!
Okay so what prompted this little trip down memory lane was a short article I read yesterday about Scottsdale Arizona where for the past 40 plus years city officials, like evil stepsisters, have banned ice cream trucks from city streets, depriving countless children from one of the most pleasant and memorable experiences of childhood.
Originally the trucks were banned because of concerns that the Good Humor Man was selling more than frozen delights to local kids. Some drivers were supposedly using their ice cream trucks to sell drugs to local teens. This put an end to ice cream trucks on Scottsdale streets.
Recently the mayor proposed an ordinance which would allow ice cream vendors back int0 neighborhoods. As would be expected the ordinance has been hailed by kids, but met with criticism and resistance from a handful of residents. Citing a safety concern for kids running into the streets to go to the ice cream man, the local newspaper there says that the ice cream truck ban would not be lifted without a fight.
At an open meeting on the issue last week a whopping 15 adults showed up to express their opposition to the change. That’s right 15! The current population of Scottsdale is over 225,000 and 15 people showed up! Come on! Scottsdale has long been known as a retirement community, but there are plenty of families with young children who reside there. By the overwhelmingly poor turnout by the opposition, it’s apparent that the majority of residents don’t really have a problem with ice cream trucks in their city.
I certainly hope the mayor doesn’t cave to all the pressure(15) against his ordinance. I truly believe the time has come to allow ice cream trucks back into Scottsdale neighborhoods. Allow this ordinance to pass mayor! So what if you lose those 15 supporters! Is it really fair to deprive another generation of children of the joys of ice cream truck vendors? I don’t think so. Come on, The kids will love you! You’ll always be remembered as the mayor who brought Good Humor back to the neighborhood!