The ice cream truck doesn’t come when it’s raining | Column | Columns | Reviews | Daily College

There was an ice cream truck.

In fact, there were two: one from the 1950s and one from the 2000s, one that cruised around Philadelphia and one that still cruises down the Florida Panhandle.

This Saturday, June 25 will mark the first anniversary of my grandfather’s death. He was driving this ice cream truck from Philadelphia. He hated it. Every day he had to drive her. Every day he listened to this same hateful music. He said it was the worst job he ever had.

He worked hard, and finally he didn’t have to listen to that ice cream truck anymore. He owned restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee, raised a family, and earned enough money to move to a beachfront home on the Gulf.

At this point in the story, I am there. And so does that second ice cream truck. You can hear it coming half a mile away. This one was not driven by my grandfather. I don’t know much about the guy driving here, but he sometimes had a parrot.

Every time I was there, I sat outside with my grandfather, either on the porch or by the pool. We were talking about football and golf. He would have a cigarette, a glass of Dewar’s Scotch and a bowl of pretzels.

Every day this ice cream truck came. Every day the music was loud enough that everyone on the beach knew it was there. We were only 10 meters away. I heard the music and rushed to grab the nearest wad of cash. I never cared enough about grabbing shoes to keep my feet from burning. I just went there.

I’ll have an ice cream sandwich. Sometimes I would get one of those popsicles with the gummy eyeballs. Eventually my brother and sister would come too. My grandfather would be where he always was, on the porch, with a cigarette, a glass of Dewar’s Scotch, and a bowl of pretzels.

My grandfather worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known. Yet after all that hard work, he was still stuck listening to an ice cream truck every day.

This time was different. He could see his grandchildren smiling while we ate ice cream. No matter how hard you work, you will always have to listen to the ice cream truck. Work just hard enough to have enough good in your life to make up for it.

That didn’t stop him from asking the man in the truck to flip the speaker. The obligated man.

The truck did not come when it was raining. I was fine with that. I know he was. One day there was a powerful storm blowing from the gulf. Powerful winds. Strong thunder. The brand new. We sat on the porch watching him enter.

“There’s something about a storm,” he told me.

I don’t know why I remember it so much, but I do. He was right; there is something about a storm. This home is located on one of the busiest beaches in the south. A storm was the only time the place was peaceful.

Thunderstorms and rain can be symbols of sadness and depression. Anyone who was there for the day probably ruined their trip. I learned to appreciate the storms that day through him, just as he enjoyed that ice cream truck through us.

He was able to enjoy this storm because he was not taking a beach vacation. He lived there.

That’s what I’m thinking today. I remember those little moments, those nuances, because they are the ones that represent something bigger. These are the times when you get a glimpse of who a family member is, where they come from and what parts of them are in you, and you in them.

I saved this part for last because I don’t like writing about myself, and I don’t like all that “cliched sense of life” that these types of articles tend to become.

But the stories are built on clichés, and this is the story of a death where no one has yet cried.

A few days after his death, the whole family was in the house in Florida. It was a few hours after the funeral. I told my mother that I had to talk to her. We went out onto the porch, a few feet from where he always sat.

There was no cigarette smoke, no Dewar, no bowl of pretzels. I looked at my mom, and before I could say anything, I started crying on her shoulder. In a way, I was waiting for this moment.

“I just haven’t had to do that yet,” I told him.

Through every ice cream truck, through every storm, he believed in what he was doing. He trusted himself to always understand him. It looked like that from my point of view at least.

He always knew that if you have something you care about, like family, and you do the right thing for them, little else matters. He had pride – man, did he have pride.

When you have this pride, you will be able to go where you want in life. You will come to a point where you can find peace in the storm. You’ll still have to listen to that ice cream truck, but you’ll be there with someone you love.

It’s 7:01 p.m. on June 22 and I’ve just watched lightning light up the sky. There is no beach, no ice cream truck, no cigarettes, Dewars or pretzels. But I have pride. I have these stories. It’s enough to get me where I’m going.

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