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In July my calendar told me it was National Ice Cream Month. Hooray, I thought. Now I can legally have some every day!

When I was a child we lived outside Philadelphia and quite near the Haverford Pharmacy which had a counter with stools, as well as a section with tables. As far as I was concerned the counter was a place for people who ate their ice cream out of a dish which I considered the sissy’s way to eat it. The tables were for old folks like my mother and her friends who would sit and gossip over an ice cream soda or sundae.

If we were lucky enough to have five cents, my friends and I got cones — plain cones, not the sugar ones. We would plead with the cute teenage boy behind the counter to give us two flavors in one scoop. My favorite was a combo of vanilla and orange ice: Philadelphia’s word for sherbet.

Armed with our cones, we would strut up and down the side walk outside the pharmacy licking, licking and licking some more, each trying to be the last to bite off the end of the cone before it got soggy and leaked. It was a definite art form.

My parents loved ice cream also. Sadly, my dad was confined to a wheel chair and unable to experience the joy of licking a cone. He would have his ice cream delivered in a carton. This needed to be eaten almost immediately because “ice boxes” in the olden days had no freezer compartments.

One Easter season my father decided he wanted eggnog ice cream. He phoned the pharmacy and informed the owner, Dr. Press, that he wanted a quart of eggnog ice cream delivered the following day. Dad was told the pharmacy did not carry eggnog ice cream. When my extremely impatient father got finished with Dr. Press, the eggnog ice cream was promised. I never knew how this was accomplished and I was certainly disappointed in the tasteless eggnog that arrived the next day. My father was ecstatic.

Although I seldom have a cone any longer, my love of ice cream has never wavered. Depending on where I am in New Hampshire, I can always find one of my favorite places.

  • Rochester, Route #125 – The Lone Oak. Here sundaes are so huge we take our own bowls so there’s plenty of room to mess around in.
  • Jaffrey, Route #123 – Kimball’s. Not too far from the Jaffrey Air Port and old Silver Ranch.
  • Hopkinton, off Routes. 9 and 202, Beech Hill. You can build your own sundae and pet the animals.
  • Antrim, Route #202 – Tenney Farm. The family of Dr. Forrest Tenney, for many years the revered area veterinarian and subject of Elizabeth Yates’ “Is There A Doctor in the Barn?”, serves Annabelle’s ice cream as a delicious adjunct to their farm stand. The barnyard hens even come to the picnic tables and beg.
  • Concord, Route #9 – Arnie’s. Their peanut butter ice cream is homemade and the best I ever taste...also great soft-serve.
  • Concord, Route #132 – Heritage Heights’ Barrows Activity Center. The ice cream counter serves generous scoops to residents for only twenty-five cents each. We can even afford a double-dip.

Yes, I’m addicted and I feel like a kid again when I lick the first taste from the spoon in my “sissy” dish of ice cream.

Mary Lou Fuller

Mary Lou Fuller is the author of a collection of anecdotes that reflect her views on aging with humor.

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