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What Was The Point Of The Ice Cream Man

In truck or bicycle form. I can see in a park an ice cream man on a bike cart could sell but if you are in a truck or a bike riding a residential area why not just go to the store?

What was wrong with people back then?

by Anonymousreply 92November 24, 2022 4:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 1November 22, 2022 3:54 PM

it was a convenience. We had about 4 different trucks/companies that came around. We also got potato chips delivered from Charles Chips when I was young we had milk delivered by the milkman. All convenience. Most families had only 1 car too and the man usually took it to work. Not like we had a store on every corner in the suburbs.

by Anonymousreply 2November 22, 2022 3:56 PM

It was like DoorDash, but with only one option.

And if you weren't home when it drove by, you missed it.

But there wasn't a delivery charge, or even an expected tip, so that kinda made up for it.

by Anonymousreply 3November 22, 2022 3:56 PM

"why not just go to the store?"

Because the store is coming to you dummy. You didn't even need to leave your block for ice cream it was about convince.

by Anonymousreply 4November 22, 2022 3:56 PM

You, OP, are an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 5November 22, 2022 3:57 PM

^^i mean convenience for R4

by Anonymousreply 6November 22, 2022 3:58 PM

OP, why are you talking about them as if they don't exist anymore?

by Anonymousreply 7November 22, 2022 4:00 PM

Have always found the jingle-jangling music they play so eerie and offputting and noncey.

by Anonymousreply 8November 22, 2022 4:04 PM

[QUOTE]What Was The Point Of The Ice Cream Man

They provided jobs for a lot of ex-cons.

by Anonymousreply 9November 22, 2022 4:06 PM

Remember those days when your mom brought you for ice cream and she and the ice cream man went back to your house and told you to mind the truck for an hour?


by Anonymousreply 10November 22, 2022 4:07 PM

The point was that suburban developments were designed to be far away from shopping districts, thus requiring the purchase of an automobile. Since children did not have automobiles, it made sense to bring ice cream them. Similarly, certain perishables such as fish, bread, eggs, etc were available by truck because women had limited use of the car during week as their husbands used the car.

by Anonymousreply 11November 22, 2022 4:13 PM

This has to be one of the dumbest questions I've EVER seen posted here.

OP must have lived in some dire high rise somewhere as a kid.

by Anonymousreply 12November 22, 2022 4:20 PM

Growing up in NYC we had the rivals "Good Humor" and "Bungalow Bar," later joined by "Mr. Softee" (yeah, we know).

by Anonymousreply 13November 22, 2022 4:27 PM

So, imagine you're playing in the yard or with other kids on your street. Yes, kids used to play outside. Suddenly you hear the magical song of the ice cream truck and you get very excited. You rush to get some money to get a treat that you didn't have that often. As for the store, people didn't used to buy as much fattening desserts and snacks as they do now. Treats were, well, treats!

by Anonymousreply 14November 22, 2022 4:27 PM

Neighborhood kids went nuts for the ice cream man back in the day, whatever you were doing came to a screeching halt to run inside to bum money for ice cream. When my father was a child, they had delivery of all kinds of things, milk, fresh fruit, ice, coal, guys pulling carts with stuff to sell, door to door salesmen.. someone tried to start up milk/fresh dairy delivery here about 15 years ago, I subscribed and it was awesome. Yes I feel ancient.

by Anonymousreply 15November 22, 2022 4:32 PM

At the sound of the truck's jingle, NYC mothers in brownstone buildings (or living on lower floors) would tie coins in a hanky and toss it out the window to their children waiting below.

by Anonymousreply 16November 22, 2022 4:43 PM

Who didn't love Mr. Softie? Softy?

by Anonymousreply 17November 22, 2022 4:46 PM

They still cruise my neighborhood every summer.

by Anonymousreply 18November 22, 2022 4:46 PM

We had a beautiful ice cream man named Mario. He looked like Bobby Cannavale. I wanted to lick his ice cream cone, and the rest of his body, too.

by Anonymousreply 19November 22, 2022 4:49 PM

Eddie Murphy did a good bit about this in one of his early specials.

Of all of the things to question! I feel a little sad for the young people who cannot use imagination for things that happened before they were born.

by Anonymousreply 20November 22, 2022 4:49 PM

I moved to a midsized Midwestern city where ice cream trucks don’t really exist and it’s so bizarre.

by Anonymousreply 21November 22, 2022 4:51 PM

[quote] Suddenly you hear the magical song of the ice cream truck and you get very excited. You rush to get some money to get a treat that you didn't have that often.

And then the little kids who were sitting behind the truck get crushed when it backs up.

Yes, it happened often enough that many neighborhoods banned them.

by Anonymousreply 22November 22, 2022 4:59 PM

We also had these push carts that took their corner posts at 3pm daily, awaiting the after-school customers. Some were operated by independent vendors who carried not only ice cream, but candy and other snacks.

You can still find push carts offering flavored shaved-ice refreshments.

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by Anonymousreply 23November 22, 2022 5:03 PM

In some police drama I saw as a child they were secretly selling DRUGS out of an ice cream truck.


I never got over it.

by Anonymousreply 24November 22, 2022 5:04 PM

It was a Pavlovian intermittent reward experiment to demonstrate the strongest motivation for rewards. Here is an example. Kids would just go nuts when they heard the bell.

Yeah only a matter of time for people to figure out how to sell things to the grown people too. The ice cream truck in my neighborhood never sold drugs that I could see, and my parents had no interest in drugs. It is a bit ironic that dispensaries use ice cream van style vehicles to deliver in my town. My partner and I laugh when we see them and we call the vans Boo pah do pah doos as an imitation of the ice cream van music

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by Anonymousreply 25November 22, 2022 5:20 PM

Deep Thoughts, by....

by Anonymousreply 26November 22, 2022 5:26 PM

r24, when I was a kid we had the Good Humor truck and the Hood truck. Rumor was that the Hood truck driver was selling weed out of the truck so we were only allowed to get Good Humor. But that's ok, I was way more interested in getting a Toasted Almond or a Bomb pop than weed.

And r25, that Pavlovian response is still ingrained in me on the rare occasion an ice cream truck makes its way through my neighborhood.

by Anonymousreply 27November 22, 2022 5:40 PM

When I was a small kid in the late 50's and early 60's most ice cream trucks served real ice cream, often soft serve like you get at Dairy Queen, sometimes it was real ice cream that they would scoop out of large containers and put into cones like you would get at an ice cream shop. It was like having a Dairy Queen come to you but at some point they decided it was cheaper just to sell the same stuff you could get at the store but at five times the price.

Things use to be nicer.

by Anonymousreply 28November 22, 2022 5:40 PM

So that drug dealers & child molesterscwould have drive up access to their victims!

by Anonymousreply 29November 22, 2022 6:04 PM

Clearly, we know OP won't do a damn thing for a Klondike bar.

by Anonymousreply 30November 22, 2022 6:11 PM

[quote]Who didn't love Mr. Softie? Softy?


by Anonymousreply 31November 22, 2022 6:11 PM

That’s cool, r16. Didn’t know that.

by Anonymousreply 32November 22, 2022 6:12 PM

[quote]And then the little kids who were sitting behind the truck get crushed when it backs up. Yes, it happened often enough that many neighborhoods banned them.

Why would an ice cream truck be backing up?!

by Anonymousreply 33November 22, 2022 6:12 PM

OP you're an idiot who never lived in a suburb in the 60s and 70s. Shops were far away. It was a way to be entertained for a half hour. Just something social and nice to break up summer days. YOU JOYLESS TWAT!!!

by Anonymousreply 34November 22, 2022 6:48 PM

You couldn't find the sherbert cones with the gumball at the bottom in any stores! Bomb pops weren't readily available in stores either back then. There was something magical, fun and exciting about the ice cream man arriving. Yelling "STOP!!!!" was so empowering as a lil fella. I remember stealing loose change out of my dad's huge 4 foot glass jug to get my ice cream fix.

by Anonymousreply 35November 22, 2022 7:37 PM

I would get my baseball cards from the Ice Cream truck. I loved the a/c - heat of summer combo you would feel, standing next to it. In our neighborhood of Baby Boomers, it would be there for an hour.

by Anonymousreply 36November 22, 2022 7:47 PM

Then the Ice Cream Man would back up and squish little kids sitting behind their trucks. Hundreds of smushed kids. A slaughter, Eventually the neighborhoods banned the killing machines!

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by Anonymousreply 37November 22, 2022 7:52 PM

My dad had quite a few words for the ice cream truck driver who who stop in front of our house (we lived on a cul-de-sac) and play the music during my sister’s nap time. After that, he never returned.

My friend told her son (who’s now a college freshman) that it was the “music truck” — a truck that seemed to work far longer than I thought it would.

by Anonymousreply 38November 22, 2022 7:54 PM

My Ice Cream man sold Pop Rocks but had to stop when Micky died. He also sold Klackers even after several of the kids in my neighborhood were permanently blinded were sent away to grow up in the Helen Keller boarding school in the Mid West.

by Anonymousreply 39November 22, 2022 7:58 PM

The summer of 73 the Ice Cream man was a dreamy hippy and two slutty girls in my Junior HS fucked him.

by Anonymousreply 40November 22, 2022 8:00 PM

The freezer compartments in the refrigerator/freezers in my family’s home in the late 1950s and then when we moved in 1960 were small. The refrigerator/freezers had single doors with internal doors for the freezers. There wasn’t much room in them for a box of ice cream snacks when there was food for meals in the freezer, plus the frost buildup. I also think they didn’t keep ice cream frozen very well. I had that type of refrigerator/freezer in two apartments I rented in the early 1980s, and ice cream stored in them was usually soft.

Of course, none of that explains why we also had milk delivered in glass bottles until the mid-1960s. Once my family had two cars, the milk deliveries stopped, so I think it was more about necessity than convenience. Drinking whole milk was pushed in those days. I probably still have fat plaques on my arteries from the 1960s!

by Anonymousreply 41November 22, 2022 8:59 PM

I always preferred The Emperor of Ice Cream.

by Anonymousreply 42November 22, 2022 9:04 PM

OP your question was not dumb and the only way to get answers is to ask questions.

When I was 10 I would follow the bungalow Bar truck for about 6 blocks on my bike. He must have been worried that something would happen to me so he would stop and go into the freezer at the back of the truck and I knew he was breaking an ice cream and would give it to me and say he couldn't sell it because it was broken and to make sure I went home after eating it. I did this for a while and when I grew up I felt guilty not knowing at the time that it was coming out of his pocket.

by Anonymousreply 43November 22, 2022 9:18 PM

Anyone else remember hearing the ice cream truck and then running to your parents to get some money, the parents took so long that by the time you got back outside with the money the damn ice cream truck had moved on?

by Anonymousreply 44November 22, 2022 9:33 PM

He was a molester

by Anonymousreply 45November 22, 2022 9:35 PM

In the early 70s there was some kind of promotion. The local Good Humor driver threw a bunch of popsicle sticks that had prizes printed on them into the street and we all scavenged for them to see if any of us won. I won $10 which was AMAZING, to a 7 year old kid at that time it might as well have been $100. My brother won a Toasted Almond.

by Anonymousreply 46November 22, 2022 9:40 PM

A lot of ice cream men dealt drugs out of their trucks. I had an ex who told me stories of buying pot from them.

When I was a kid, drugs never crossed my mind so all I cared about was the ice cream. Loved the strawberry shortcake bars.

by Anonymousreply 47November 22, 2022 9:42 PM

Ice Cream Trucks were like the original DoorDash before there was DoorDash. You just couldn’t have it come when you want, but it would bring all the ice cream options to your front yard to choose from.

My brother, when about 8 years old, dashed into the house to get money and on his way to dash out went right through the plate glass in the screen door, cutting himself to shreds and needing to go to the emergency room.

by Anonymousreply 48November 22, 2022 9:43 PM

R48 is your brother Michael Scott?

by Anonymousreply 49November 22, 2022 9:54 PM

No, but we grew up in Pennsylvania, not the NE though thank god.

by Anonymousreply 50November 22, 2022 9:55 PM

[quote]You rush to get some money to get a treat that you didn't have that often.

He came by our neighborhood every weekday, so ice cream five times a week in the afternoon.

Was your family poor?

by Anonymousreply 51November 22, 2022 9:57 PM

It was a special event. Made life fun for kids.

by Anonymousreply 52November 22, 2022 10:00 PM

Oh please. We were middle class in a middle class neighborhood and parents didn't shell out spare change every fucking day all summer for kids to buy ice cream. We could buy it with our own money of course and sometimes with cash from parents. Even middle class folks didn't have tons of spending money. Everyone was a more cautious consumer back in the day.

by Anonymousreply 53November 22, 2022 10:00 PM

In our neighborhood in the 1970s, all the fathers took the car and went to work leaving the mother home. Most of the mothers didn’t have a way to get to the store so they were glad when the ice cream truck came around.

It’s like in The Music Man when everyone gets excited about the Wells Fargo Wagon coming down the street. It was a big deal.

by Anonymousreply 54November 22, 2022 10:01 PM

Loved that movie “The Ice Cream Man Always Rings Thrice!”

by Anonymousreply 55November 22, 2022 10:09 PM

Our Good Humor man wore a change dispenser on his belt, like train conductors wore, which I thought was so cool. I don't think ice cream was that expensive because I'd often pay out of my allowance which was 50 cents a week.

by Anonymousreply 56November 22, 2022 10:12 PM

Christina often begged me for money for the ice cream man. I always turned her down.

by Anonymousreply 57November 22, 2022 10:21 PM

My great uncle got his ice cream truck taken away because it was also his beer truck.

by Anonymousreply 58November 22, 2022 10:22 PM

What do you mean "back then" OP? We still have roaming ice cream trucks where I live

by Anonymousreply 59November 22, 2022 10:23 PM

Do the ice cream vans always play the same tune ?

by Anonymousreply 60November 22, 2022 10:23 PM

I was on the beach in Shelter Island, NY a few years ago and they had an ice cream boat!

The ice cream man would get as close as he could to the shore (bay side; so, calm) and stretch out a basket on a long rod. You put the money in and shout out what you want , then he put the ice cream and your change in the basket.

I was charmed!!

by Anonymousreply 61November 22, 2022 10:32 PM

Yes, R60, each brand had its own tune played on loop. The kids would recognize the music even before the truck drove into sight.

IIRC, the ice cream truck would stay fifteen minutes or so at each stop, perhaps longer on the weekend.

by Anonymousreply 62November 22, 2022 10:36 PM

r51, I'm a millennial and by my time it wasn't every day. At least not in our suburb...

by Anonymousreply 63November 22, 2022 10:37 PM

Im looking forward to next summer to chase down a truck for this

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by Anonymousreply 64November 22, 2022 10:45 PM


Call the roller of big cigars,

The muscular one, and bid him whip

In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

As they are used to wear, and let the boys

Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.

Let be be finale of seem.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,

Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet

On which she embroidered fantails once

And spread it so as to cover her face.

If her horny feet protrude, they come

To show how cold she is, and dumb.

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

by Anonymousreply 65November 22, 2022 10:55 PM

The smell of car exhaust always reminds me of childhood.

Now there aren't enough kids in most neighborhoods to make it worthwhile to send out ice cream trucks.

by Anonymousreply 66November 22, 2022 11:02 PM

[quote]You couldn't find the sherbert cones with the gumball at the bottom in any stores!

Maybe you didn’t find it because you didn’t know what you were looking for.

It’s sherbet.

by Anonymousreply 67November 22, 2022 11:03 PM

[quote]went right through the plate glass in the screen door,

What kind of screen door has glass?

by Anonymousreply 68November 22, 2022 11:04 PM

R61 OMG!

I grew up in a poor rural area with no ice cream truck, but one of the delightful about staying with my grandparents was that the Ice cream truck came to their middle class slightly suburban neighborhood and of course they gave us, their beloved grandchildren, money to get a treat. (Hello my fellow strawberry shortcake aficionados)

This past summer I was up at family reunion at a campground and an ice cream truck came on to the property and let’s just say there was a long line of middle aged and older folks gleefully lined up before the campground owner chased the truck off the property.

by Anonymousreply 69November 22, 2022 11:14 PM

OP, it was just exciting to hear the ice cream man coming from a few streets away - going to the store is planned but the ice cream truck shows up to your home with no notice - it’s kind of thrilling for a kid! Plus, they sold popsicles that weren’t necessarily in the stores.

by Anonymousreply 70November 22, 2022 11:20 PM

To make us fat?

by Anonymousreply 71November 22, 2022 11:30 PM

They still have an ice cream truck in the summer in my neighborhood, what are you talking about “back then”?

by Anonymousreply 72November 22, 2022 11:34 PM

According to my mother, selling ice cream was merely a cover. What the driver was really doing was casing the neighborhood to see which houses to rob later.

by Anonymousreply 73November 23, 2022 12:50 AM

A Mister Softee truck came to our neighborhood about every two weeks, and they didn't run on a schedule. It was a nice surprise when the truck arrived about an hour after suppertime on a weeknight. A real bonus, all of the parents came out and ordered for their entire families.

We had a candy truck arrive about 4:00pm every day during the summer. We ate supper at 4:00pm. So, I had to wait to eat the candy afterward.

One summer a young muscular guy drove the Mister Softee truck. He always wore a white tee shirt and his rigid nipple buds would poke out from his thick chest. I sometimes didn't have ready money, but I waited in line anyway. I wanted to see those buds again. I "suddenly forgot" I didn't have the money to buy anything, but he gave me a soft-serve cone anyway.

the measures we took to look at something we wanted to see badly, even at the age of nine or ten....

by Anonymousreply 74November 23, 2022 1:15 AM

i loved the popsicle sticks with prizes on them!

by Anonymousreply 75November 23, 2022 1:59 AM

They still come around and n trucks I. The summer and early fall while still warm here. They strategically show up around day camps and schools. Kids and parents seem to love it.

by Anonymousreply 76November 23, 2022 2:22 AM

R41 The suburbs had a lot of fresh deliveries beyond ice cream in the 60s and 70s. I remember the milk truck as late as the late 70s. It really depended on what was around you, but we were a bit farther out than a city suburb yet not quite farmland, so we could get milk, eggs and bread on a rotation. You could also get dry cleaning delivered and groceries too, or the butcher would deliver.

Grocery stores in the 60s and 70s were much smaller and I seem to remember few, if any convenience stores. Milk options were not the dozens of brands/types today. It often made sense to get farm fresh milk delivered. At one time we got a gallon a day delivered. My brother drank it non stop.

by Anonymousreply 77November 23, 2022 3:00 AM

Our Good Humor truck was driven by a clean-cut, Tony Dow type who came by every night. Mr. Softee stopped by our suburban neighborhood a couple of times a week. The driver, like R40’s ice cream man, was a hippie with long blond hair and a lazy voice. I thought he was more authentic because he did more than simply take packaged treats out of a freezer: he blended the milkshakes and swirled the soft serve onto a cone. He was probably high as a kite which was why he was always so agreeable.

I liked the older Good Humor trucks with the tiny freezer door. We also had milk, bread, baked goods, and eggs delivered. The milkman (Sealtest) arrived while I was asleep, so I never actually saw him, but he was better than Santa Claus because once a week he also left ice cream.

by Anonymousreply 78November 23, 2022 3:17 AM

My parents told my older sister that the truck was "The Music Truck." They didn't want her begging for ice cream. It's funny now that we think back on it.

by Anonymousreply 79November 23, 2022 3:30 AM

I wonder if kids ever banded together to stick up an ice cream truck.

One could lay in the road, like he’s injured - -

by Anonymousreply 80November 23, 2022 4:23 AM

Of course ever since the movie After Hours they’ve become sinister and evil.

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by Anonymousreply 81November 23, 2022 5:27 AM

[quote] There used to be a Little Caesars truck that would drive around selling pizza. Like the ice cream man.

by Anonymousreply 82November 23, 2022 6:28 AM

I remember a man coming around in a van with glazed donuts for sale, and no he wasn’t a child molester.

by Anonymousreply 83November 23, 2022 6:30 AM

I wish the itinerant blade grinder still came around to sharpen household knives and scissors.

by Anonymousreply 84November 23, 2022 2:35 PM

A "cutler"

by Anonymousreply 85November 23, 2022 2:39 PM

In what regions of the US did they have the Bungalow Bars?

by Anonymousreply 86November 23, 2022 2:59 PM

To sell ice cream.

by Anonymousreply 87November 23, 2022 3:05 PM

[quote]we were a bit farther out than a city suburb

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 88November 23, 2022 11:01 PM

R79, did you see r38? It seems like that was a popular thing. Lol.

by Anonymousreply 89November 23, 2022 11:02 PM

You make no sense OP. If anything, people want more stuff than ever without “going to the store.”

by Anonymousreply 90November 24, 2022 12:48 AM

r8 we had them on Long Island

by Anonymousreply 91November 24, 2022 11:40 AM

I was ten or eleven when we finally got an ice cream truck circulating in our suburban neighborhood (we were across the street from a park, so I guess that meant there were enough kids to make it worthwhile). We were so excited to run over to the truck - only to discover that the cost of a single ice cream bar was the same as buying a whole package at the grocery store. Mom would never let us buy ice cream from the ice cream man again, because it was too expensive.

Half a century later, the trucks are still making the rounds in my same neighborhood, and given the changes over the decades, I can't help but wonder if most of their profit is from selling drugs to the parents who've taken their kids to the park to play.

by Anonymousreply 92November 24, 2022 4:43 PM
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