Ice Cream Man

Summertime, summertime.  Sum-sum-summertime…

Yep, the warm weather months are finally here.  Sure, it’s not officially summertime for another 15 days.  But I tend to define “summer” according to when it feels right to put the windows down, peel the sunroof back, and turn Mr. Mellencamp UP – regardless of whether or not we’ve transcended June 21st.  Perhaps I’m still reeling from my time in Cleveland where it snowed almost daily and the sun only came out on days the Browns actually won.  Anyway…

It’s summertime in Middle Tennessee, for sure.

As I was thinking about summertime a few days ago, I was reminded of my buddy Paul.  Some may know him as our local “Ice Cream Man” – the guy with the cool truck who hands out ice cream around town. 

I met Paul about this time last year.  I pulled into a local gas station on the way home one night and he was there with his vintage Good Humor ice cream truck – uniform and all.

ice cream man

Those of you who know me know that I’m a sucker for anything cool with wheels and a motor.  It wasn’t long before I was checking out the truck and talking with Paul. 

We chatted briefly – talking primarily about his very cool ice cream truck and how he came to own it and resurrect it to its current condition.  I was struck by how Paul wasn’t just about a cool old ride with a big motor, as some guys are.  No, he’s more about preserving an experience that today’s kids may not otherwise know – the excitement of hearing that music and bell as the truck rolls through the neighborhood with a gaggle of kids following behind, fervently pursuing the decadence of an unanticipated mid-day ice cream cone.

The truck is fun, yet it’s more important in what the truck does – it draws people in.  While some buy an old car or truck to enjoy driving it around, Paul seems to make his best memories by parking the truck and waiting for the crowds to arrive.  With each ice cream treat, a new friend is made.

I saw Paul again last week.  He was at a local Saturday morning gathering of fellow car nuts and, not surprisingly, he drew quite a crowd.  It’s amazing just how successful the “ice cream for breakfast” campaign can be when presented against the backdrop of a classic Good Humor truck to a target population that is momentarily without maternal supervision.

It occurs to me that the cool thing about the Ice Cream Man is that he has found a way to do something he loves while also bringing a smile to those around him.  We should all be so fortunate.  In some ways, Paul is the Good Humor Steward – he’s uses the gifts of his truck and his good nature to spread smiles one scoop at a time.

So, be like the Ice Cream Man.  Do something you love, but do it to the benefit of those around you.  Make their day better and yours is sure to follow.  Enjoy the pursuit, but revel in the treat.  With friends.

And if you should happen to run across an antique Stroh’s truck somewhere along the way, think of me – and give me a call.  Maybe I’ll follow Paul’s example. 

Enjoy, Y’all.  It’s summertime. 



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