Growing up, going to get ice cream was a popular family activity. Well, for two of us. My mom had lovely memories of making homemade ice cream on the farm with a hand churn, with fruit picked from their own fields and what a special treat it was that the whole family helped to make. Dad, on the other hand, was never a big dairy person as it tended to upset his stomach. (He was probably lactose intolerant.) Also, there was that time I beat him up when he couldn’t get me my “cormy” fix.
But Dad would try to be a good sport, and on those scorching summer days in Southern California, a cool treat was hard to resist. We went the route of convenience and often ended up getting our scoop on at the local drugstore, Thrifty. True to it’s name, the ice cream was cheap, 15 cents a scoop during most of my childhood! The store had a large ice cream counter in the front of the store, with a dozen or so colorful selections and a flavor of the month. I remember touching the cold glass display case which felt so good during those frequent summer heat waves.
Mainly, we were creatures of habit when it came to flavor selection. My mom always chose a nut variety, either butter pecan or black walnut. I was a bit more adventurous, going for the chocolate malted crunch, rocky road or bubble gum. Mom and I usually ordered two scoops.
Dad never failed to disappoint us by getting a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. As a kid, I thought that was the most boring selection on the planet. Mom and I would try to encourage him to try something different, but nope, vanilla it was every time. He was just a plain vanilla kind of guy.
(I did a Google search and discovered that Thrifty ice cream lives on! I had no idea about the history of the store. It’s fascinating to get the back story on such a happy, vivid childhood memory.)