Ice Cream

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!  Ice cream – what is better than that smooth, creamy, cold, delicious treat that brightens eyes and creates smiles?  I have many a fond memory wrapped around ice cream!  While having ice cream in the freezer for a treat on a warm summer evening at home is great, it doesn’t compare to the chance to go out for ice cream at a local ice cream parlor, soda shoppe, dairy, or wherever ice cream can be found close by.  Just taking a drive and ending up having ice cream – whether planned or not – makes the day ever so special.  So, here’s a tribute to ice cream and some of my special memories that revolve around this amazing treat!

  • My Grandfather delivered newspapers as a side job after he retired and would often take me or my brother along to help him fold the papers when we weren’t in school.  At the end of his route, we would always stop somewhere for lunch, which always included an ice cream cone or a thick milkshake.
  • Across the street from my high school was a little Tastee Freeze – a small soft serve ice cream shop that was only open during the late spring, through summer, and early fall.  Back then, we were allowed to leave the school to go wherever we wanted to go for lunch – home, a restaurant, wherever – so long as we returned in time for our next class.  I remember going across the street with friends during lunch and having an ice cream cone or a sundae instead of lunch as often as I could when it was open.  We’d sit on the picnic tables and eat our ice cream and talk and flirt with guys that chose the same lunch option.  If we wanted ice cream and it was the off-season, we would just walk down the street a ways to Woolcott’s Dairy and have lunch there.
  • The Tastee Freeze was also “the” destination after my brother’s little league games – if his team won, the coach would take the whole team there and celebrate with ice cream.  Many of the spectators – including Mom and me – would tag along to join in on the fun, too!  If the team lost, my Mom still took us for ice cream and most, if not all, of the rest of the team’s parents did the same!
  • Woolcott’s Dairy was a main fixture in Albion, NY – right on Rt. 31 at the end of Platt Street off set slightly from four corners, which was the main intersection of Main St. and Rt. 31.  They sold milk, bread, and some other quick grocery items, but the main attraction was the service counter where you could sit and have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and their amazing homemade ice cream!!!
  • As a child, we lived with my grandparents on Platt Street.  My Grandfather was a foreman at Hunts, which was also located on Platt Street.  I would walk up to Woolcott’s and get him a pineapple milkshake and take it to him on his dinner breaks – it always seemed to brighten his day!
  • During my senior year in high school, I worked at Woolcott’s Dairy – I was a waitress, cooked a little, and served up ice cream – yes, I was a soda jerk (keep your comments to yourselves)!  One of the perks was FREE ice cream while we were on duty!  We’d keep a pile of plastic spoons near the ice cream case and scoop out a big bite whenever we walked by and make ourselves a big sundae for our breaks!  The king of all sundaes was the Woolcott’s Special – this was a colossal sundae – sort of like a banana split on steroids!!!  It was a large dish with several scoops of different flavors of ice cream with a banana, several toppings, whipped cream, and of course a cherry on top!  We were taught to weigh the dishes to be sure we weren’t giving the customers more ice cream than was supposed to be in any particular sundae, but when any of my friends came in, I’d “forget” to weigh the dish and put a little extra of everything in it!  YUM!!!  My favorite, though, was always anything with caramel and nuts on it!  Mom’s favorite is a Mexican Sundae – vanilla ice cream with spanish peanuts, chocolate syrup, marshmallow cream, whipped cream, and a cherry.
  • Albion also had two other soda fountains / restaurants downtown – Gus’s and Greek’s!  It was a time when kids could ride their bikes or walk all over town all day long – we’d be gone from early morning until dinner time and parents never worried about what harm may come of us or what trouble we might get into.  It was a small town and there just weren’t the dangers that there are today.  Anyway – we could be found most days having a soda (a real soda – ice cream, flavoring, and soda water – made to order with whatever kind of ice cream and flavoring combination you could imagine) at Gus’s or Greek’s.
  • Albion no longer has Woolcott’s Dairy or either of the soda shoppes, but there is still the Tastee Freeze and there is a similar place in nearby Medina called Double Dips that is also a seasonal place to get soft serve ice cream.  Mom and I still enjoy popping in at Double Dips when we’re out and about during my visits to get a sundae together – we usually get the idea to stop at the same time – she’ll say, “you know what’d be nice?” and I’ll say “I’m already planning to stop for ice cream” – hahahaha.  They also got a Stone Cold Creamery in the Tim Horton’s on Main Street within the last couple of years or so.  That is always good!
  • My grandparents had a cottage at Sunset Beach on Lake Ontario and we spent a lot of our summer days there.  There was an ice cream stand out on the main intersection of two roads – one that went to Sunset Beach and one that went to Lakeside.  We’d walk from the cottage out there – it was quite a hike – to get ice cream.  It was the packaged kind of ice cream – like Nutty Buddies, Fudgecicles, Good Humor products, etc., but it was still so good and well worth the long walk on a hot day!  My favorites were Nutty Buddies and Creamcicles – that wonderful orange and cream combination!
  • When I first moved to Sanford with my new husband and son in 1985, we would take off on Sundays to just drive around to explore and figure out what the area had to offer – we’d head out in a different direction and just drive as far as we could and see where we ended up.  It always included finding somewhere that we could stop for an ice cream cone!  When we’d get in the car to head out, Robby would always say “can we stop to get ice cream?” – like there was really a chance that wouldn’t happen – and we’d always say “we’ll see, depends on how good you are and where we end up”!  But, he had to know that we never went out on a Sunday drive without stopping for ice cream – even if we didn’t find a place that served ice cream cones, we’d stop at a convenience store and get something from the freezer section!
  • There used to be a TCBY Frozen Yogurt shop in that little strip plaza on the corner of Third Street and Horner Blvd that we used to enjoy going to, as well.  The idea of big waffle cones filled with frozen yogurt and a variety of toppings, like crumbled candies, M&Ms, bite sized brownie squares, and more, was very novel at the time — a real special treat we used for celebrations and special occasions!
  • A big part of driving from Sanford, NC to Albion, NY and back was always stopping for a refreshing ice cream from Dairy Queen when I really needed a break from the road!  When Puddles (my precious cockapoo) traveled with me, she always got her own small dish of ice cream!  She LOVED ice cream so much!  I had to spoon feed it to her slowly because she would wolf it down too quickly and it would be obvious she would get a brain freeze!!!  After the first couple of times she did that, I started keeping her dish on the dash board and give her a spoon full every other time I took a bite of my own.  When she got old and sick, her diet was drastically restricted and she didn’t get out much.  The week that I decided it was time to let her go, I took her for ice cream and long drives every day to make her last week as special for her as I could —– and to share some final memories!

So — that is my life as it has been touched by ice cream!  There are many, many more memories that I can link to ice cream, but these are the ones that stick out the most.  A dear friend mentioned wanting a hot fudge sundae on Facebook tonight and just the hint of how great that would taste made it so I had all I could do to keep from getting in the car and heading up to the Dairy Queen, but I was a good girl and restrained myself (literally – I went in and put my jammies on so I wouldn’t be able to go – it all but came down to duct taping myself to the couch)!  Writing about this topic has me really wanting a big dish of pralines and cream with caramel sauce and maybe some hot fudge, too……..but, it was also therapeutic – I may want it, but I’m not going through compulsive cravings for it……….not really!

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