Jolly Joe, The Ice Cream Man (via Cherylmcnulty’s Blog)

I am noticing that this post on this story (which I hope to get published soon) seems to be the most popular on my blog. I am bringing it back to the front page of my blog to see what kind of views this could generate again. This has proven to be very interesting and has given me a little more encouragement on my end to seeing it in book form someday. Thank you all. 🙂

I am writing this in my blog to see what people think.  This is a story I wrote from my childhood, which stands out in my memory as clear as it happened yesterday, but in fact it was 40 years ago.  I wanted to reflect the images and the way I remember the way the days felt back then.  I'm sure if you grew up in the 60's, you can relate to this story.  This is one is on it's way to a publisher as we speak. I can really picture this story as a chil … Read More

via Cherylmcnulty's Blog

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Jolly Joe, The Ice Cream Man

I am writing this in my blog to see what people think.  This is a story I wrote from my childhood, which stands out in my memory as clear as it happened yesterday, but in fact it was 40 years ago.  I wanted to reflect the images and the way I remember the way the days felt back then.  I’m sure if you grew up in the 60’s, you can relate to this story.  This is one is on it’s way to a publisher as we speak. I can really picture this story as a children’s picture book.  I hope you like it.  Enjoy. 🙂  Cheryl

JOLLY JOE, THE ICE CREAM MAN

The nickel mom gave me was clenched tight in my sweaty, left fist.  It wasn’t going anywhere, at least not yet.

I sat patiently on the curb in front of my house, drawing pictures on the roasting pavement with rocks.  It was something to do while I waited-waited for the sweet sound of the ice cream man.

Those summer mornings of long ago always dawned hazy and cool, but by noontime, turned sunny and sizzling.  Cicadas droned their long, lonely songs promising another day of uncomfortable weather; while dogs laid lifeless, panting heavily in the shade.

Since it was too hot to play, the neighborhood children sat quietly in their wading pools, played board games or just read books.  It seemed the whole neighborhood was sleeping.

Suddenly we heard it!

“Clang!”   “Clang!”   “Clang!”

Oh, that  marvelous sound!

“Clang!”   “Clang!”   “Clang!”

The ice cream man was coming and his bell broke through the still, dank air like shattering  glass!  The red and white truck gleamed as it rounded the corner of our street.

“Clang!”   “Clang!”  “Clang!”

His bell beckoned every child and the neighborhood sprang back to life again.  It was like magic!

His name was Jolly Joe and he was always on time, half-past noon. He wasn’t your ordinary ice cream man, and he didn’t drive an ordinary ice cream truck.Unlike the larger, square trucks today, Jolly Joe’s truck was small, and all of it’s corners were rounded.  Vibrant stickers of assorted, frosty ice cream treats were strewn across it’s sides,  seeming so real and tasty, our mouths watered in anticipation.

The back of his truck was made of smooth, shiny aluminum and had small, compartment doors cut into it.  Each door had it’s own lever, but had nothing to reveal the treasure it held deep inside.  I’ll never know just how he did it, but he always knew which door to open for each child’s special selection.

Clutching my nickel tight, I’d run to the back of the truck where a small group of children were quickly gathering. Jolly Joe jumped out and walked toward us.  The sun glistened upon his greased, jet black hair.  He was an older man with a pleasant face and a welcoming smile.  He was short, round,  and yes, very jolly.  He knew us all by name and knew all of our favorite ice cream treats.

There were chocolate nut cones, ice cream sandwiches and assorted ice pops in every flavor.  Strawberry Shortcakes, Chocolate Eclairs and Cherry Bombs to name just a few.

Then there was my favorite ice cream of all -the Buried Treasure!  It was called the Buried Treasure because you had to eat all the raspberry ice cream to discover the “treasure” deep inside.  An imprint on the plastic stick!  It might be a lion, a dog, or even a funny clown.  Whatever it was, it was well worth the wait!

The money belt Jolly Joe wore around his middle made a merry “chink”, chink” sound as he collected coins or just made change.  Small puffs of freezer smoke escaped each compartment door as he opened them one by one.

Then it was finally my turn!  He dug his arm deep inside the frigid compartment up to his shoulder.  He’d pause for a moment, and a puzzled look would cross his face.  Then quick as a flash, he had it!  My Buried Treasure!  I couldn’t wait to taste the cool, sweetness sliding down my parched throat.

I managed a muffled “thank you”, as he tousled my damp hair.

Choices were made.  Money was exchanged.  Then as quickly as it had begun, it was soon over.  It was time for Jolly Joe to go.

He climbed back into his cab and waved us off.  Excited, sticky-faced, children were everywhere, playing and laughing again.

“Bye!” they all called back.  Then the merry bell rang again.

“Clang!”  “Clang!”  Clang!”

Over and over it rang, until it slowly faded in the distance.

How I hated to see him go, because then I knew it would just be another long, hot and boring day again. But I knew the next day he’d be back again.  I’d clutch my nickel tight and run, and it would be magic all over again.

THE END

How I remember Jolly Joe

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