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by Tumbleweed Smith

The other night, just before dropping off to sleep, my wife said she wanted a fudgesicle. I asked her if a Dumbo would do instead. She said no, she wanted a fudgesicle.

Dumbo is the name of an ice cream treat we had the first night we were married. August 26, 1963. We were in Chihuahua, Mexico on our way to Mazatlan for our honeymoon destination. We had just finished a meal of chateaubriand and beer and were taking a walk in the neighborhood around the hotel. We saw a man pushing an ice cream cart with the name Dumbo painted on the side of it. We strolled over and bought a popsicle. As I recall, the flavor resembled root beer. We kept the popsicle wrappers for years as souvenirs.

Back to the other night. I told her my favorite ice cream treat was a bananasicle. It was like a fudgesicle, but it had a banana flavor. My dad had a grocery store, so when I was growing up I had all the sweet goodies I wanted. Anytime I felt like a bananasicle, I just went to the ice cream box and got one. But it wasn't the same as getting an ice cream goody from the ice cream man who sold his wares from a cart or truck.

The pushcart was my favorite. It had bells hanging from the push bar. When my playmates and I heard the bells, our mouths began to water as we anticipated the good taste we were about to enjoy. When the ice cream man finally got to our street, we ran to it with nickels in hand. There is no sound like the sound of the lid being opened on an ice cream cart. It kind of thumps as the man grabs the round handle on top and slowly pulls it up and leans it back. As he does, swirls of deliciously fragrant cold air drift out from the depths of the icebox. 'What'll you have, boys?' he asks.

That starts an ice cream shopping spree that can last as long as five minutes. It takes a long time to figure out the exact taste we want. After all, popsicles come in a number of flavors.

I remember them being frozen so hard we had to wait a second or two for them to thaw out. Then we tore off the wrappers and started enjoying the good taste of summer.

It didn't take long to consume a fudgesicle. About the time you got the first lick in, it started melting and you had fudgesicle residue around your moth, your hands, sometimes down to your elbows. But so what? It comes off easy. No, I didn't get up and go get my wife a fudgesicle. But if I would have done so, you can bet I would have got a bananasicle for myself. I promise the next time she asks for a midnight fudgesicle, I will accommodate her.

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