Summertime in the 50’s and 60’s brings back a flood of favorite memories. We looked forward each summer to “The Paces Dairy Queen Man”. We stood in the middle of 4th West and 1st South with our nickels and dimes clasped firmly in our little fists, hoping to catch a glimpse of that oh so familiar truck. We couldn’t wait to part with the change our mother’s had given us moments earlier.
At last the faint sound of the music, like an old organ grinder with bells, kinda warped as a kid’s toy running down on batteries. Once our keen ears picked up the sounds getting closer, we scrambled to be first in line. My baby brother Alan would cry and threaten to tell mom if we didn’t let him first in line. We pushed and shoved and found our place, it was all part of the ritual.
Once the truck was within our sights, it would only be a few moments before we would be licking away in Ice Cream Heaven. We shouted and screamed for him to STOP. Each time he visited our neighborhood we lived in fear he would not see or hear us (only if he was blind and deaf).
The front of the truck was bright red and the back was white and looked like a giant refrigerator. Bright blue and white striped fringe and awnings were part of the decor. The words “Pace’s Dairy Ann” were boldly stamped on the side. I know what you are thinking – why do you call him the “Dairy Queen Man?”, if he was clearly the “Dairy Ann Man”. We didn’t like the name so we always called him what we wanted.
The big red, white and blue truck was magical to me. I was fascinated it had no doors on either side. I worried sometimes our “Dairy Queen Man” might just fall out onto the pavement. He would slide out from behind the steering wheel and immediately go to the back of the truck where the huge freezer door with the bright silver hinges opened up to reveal a wondrous array of ice cream delights. If you were tall enough you could actually peek into the freezer and catch a glimpse of the wire racks filled with enough ice cream to feed every kid in Kaysville.
In my memory I can’t visualize the face of the “Dairy Queen Man”. He appeared to look a lot like The Good Humor Man. Dressed all in white, with shiny black shoes and a little black bow tie. On his head he wore a hat that looked like the kind soda jerks used to wear. The most impressive part of his uniform was the bright silver coin changer he wore around his waist. It wouldn’t be long before our money disappeared into the round cylinders never to be seen again.
A lot of conversation centered around our selection of frozen delights. “What are you getting Vicky Lynn?” She would say “I don’t know what are you going to get?” Vicky Lynn’s mom always gave her more money to spend than we got, so I would always be jealous of that. So much to choose from: The Space Bar – vanilla ice cream with chocolate coating, The Astro Pop – fruit flavored popsicles all on one stick, The Yippee Cup – chocolate malted ice cream dipped in nuts and chocolate. My personal favorite, The Jet Bar – chocolate ice cream with chocolate coating, dipped in Rice Krispies.
Once the treats were in our hot little hands, it was time to retreat under the shade of the big tree in our front yard. All of the local neighborhood kids were there: me, my brothers Steven, Brent, Alan, Vicky Lynn and Utahna Hatch, Ronnie Crouch (my childhood heart throb), Carol Gale, Georgina Hyde, George A. Bremmer, Lynn Blood, Gwen Hutchings, and Kenny Hansen.
Yes I saved a Jet Bar Wrapper
We laughed, told jokes and teased each other while licking away at our ice cream. Those were the days. Little did I know how much I would miss them years later. Several years ago I savored a Jet Bar under the shade of a tree, but it wasn’t the same. Last year I went to Pace’s and they said they no longer made Jet Bars. I sighed and walked away with nothing.