JUL/ICE CREAM SUNDAY

July in America = ice cream….especially the 3rd Sunday in July. Why? Well, besides offering relief from the sweltering heat, ice cream has official status in July. The following revised article, which I first posted three years ago on “another network,” will explain:

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We dare not trust our wit for making our house pleasant to our friend, so we buy ice cream. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Former President Ronald Reagan may not have had Ralph Waldo Emerson’s wit, but in 1984 he did Emerson one better by proclaiming July NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH and the 3rd Sunday in July NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY. It is thus our patriotic duty this month (and doubly so on this day) to set calory-counting and weight-watching aside, yield to weak-ness, and celebrate like it’s 1984. Go ahead. Indulge. Now that you’re thinking about it, how can you resist that tempting pleaser in the freezer?

Vanilla? Chocolate? Mint? Peach? Chocolate chip? Whatever — as you savor the flavor of your favorite cold one (not counting beer) tickling your tonsils as it melts down your throat, here come some ice cream trivia to enlighten you as you add to your waistline:

Ice cream was introduced in the U.S. by Quaker colonists.
The ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when a concessionaire ran out of ice cream dishes, and pastries were hand-rolled to resemble a dish.
Children under 12 and adults over 45 consume the most ice cream per person.
Americans eat more ice cream than any other country in the world.
More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
Enjoy plain vanilla? You’re hardly alone — it’s still, by far, America’s most popular flavor.

Ice cream nostalgia time: I remember old-fashioned ice cream parlors with their marble countertops, small wrought iron round tables and armless wire chairs with round seats. I remember soda fountains in drug stores and 5 & 10 cent stores manned by ‘soda jerks’ in white. I remember Howard Johnson restaurants (with their 28 flavors) at service plazas on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the 1940s; I remember Dairy Queens becoming popular in the 1950s; I remember sugar cones and root beer floats and The Good Humor Man and ice cream trucks plying neighborhood streets playing “Turkey In The Straw” or “The Entertainer,” drawing children like mystical Pied Pipers.

Some of the above still exist. In fact, I think I hear one of those Pied Pipers passing by the house right now. Excuse me while I run out and scream WAIT! WAIT FOR ME! Oh, no — he doesn’t hear me! Do something before he’s gone….

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10 comments on “JUL/ICE CREAM SUNDAY

  1. “I scream, You scream, we all scream for ice cream. ” could have been one of those chants that girls jump rope to. Not me however. I was too clumsy. I do recall hearing the Good Humor truck with its musical tones that would draw all the neighborhood kids to it like a moth to a burning match, Enjoyed some of the best ice dream that summer. Later my girls would ask for change to satisfy their appetites, Although we had some ice cream in the freezer, those magical notes drew us all to have a wonderful treat. You have posted some interesting facts, mistermuse. I think I remember one soda fountain that specialized in sundaes and deserts. I am sad they are now almost impossible to find nowadays.

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  2. arekhill1 says:

    Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You didn’t ask, but I thought I’d tell you anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    Michaeline, our good friend Don Frankel was a soda jerk in his youth – hopefully he will favor us with a memory or two from his soda fountain days.

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  4. Espirational says:

    When I think of ice cream I remember family gatherings with everyone taking turns on the crank of the old fashioned ice cream freezer.

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  5. mistermuse says:

    Sounds like you come from a cranky family! 🙂

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  6. Marie Lough says:

    I had cookie dough ice cream today – just doing my part for National Ice Cream Day!

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  7. mistermuse says:

    I had my favorite, Homemade brand Natural Vanilla Bean, for National Ice Cream Day — not that I needed an excuse. I had some yesterday, and I’ll have some more tomorrow.

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  8. Don Frankel says:

    Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia or just plain old Breyer’s Vanilla.

    I knew why President Reagan made this holiday on a Sunday because without Ice Cream you can’t make a Sundae. Oh that was bad but what can you expect from an old soda jerk.

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  9. mistermuse says:

    Don, I propose making it a rule to never admit making a bad pun….if for no other reason than it would benefit me a lot more than it would you.

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