The beginning of March brought yet another round of icy cold weather. Quite the dreary thought, until an icy memory of a different sort came to mind. A pleasant one that took place almost six decades ago.
I was three years old at the time and lived next door to a lady named Ann.
Ann lived in an old house with three rooms and no indoor plumbing, except for a hand pump in a tiny, cupboard-less kitchen. A faded, wooden outhouse with a squeaky door sat in a corner of her backyard.
Although her house had electric lights, the knob and tube wiring ran along the floor molding and up the outside of her walls and ceilings, rather than inside of them.
Ann didn’t own a refrigerator. Instead, she used an icebox and often had blocks of ice delivered to her home.
On this particular ice-delivery day, my mother placed a tin cup in my hands (the same one pictured above). She told me to run next door to the delivery truck and ask the iceman for a little piece of ice. I did as told and soon returned home, happily licking my cold treat.
Several years later I asked Mom why she sent me next door for a piece of ice that day—we had a refrigerator with plenty of ice cubes. She replied, “I wanted you to remember the iceman. It was a fading profession and now it’s totally gone.”
Mom’s strategy worked. That memory stayed with me as I grew up and married. Eventually I learned that Hubby’s grandfather, who passed away before I met Hubby, had been an iceman for many years.
Since then I’ve often wondered if he could have been the kind gentleman who chipped off a little chunk of ice and dropped it into my tin cup on that long-ago day. I’ll never know for sure, but I like to think Hubby’s grandpa was my iceman.