We did not grow up listening to soft music during dinner. There too much noise and confusion at the kitchen table. Someone was always kicking somebody’s leg or knocking over a glass of milk while reaching for a bowl of mashed potatoes across the table. I know you all were taught that there was only one major crime at suppertime as far as Grandma was concerned, which was spilling the wine. After all, Jesus did not drink milk at the Last Supper. The beverage of choice at that meal was the fruit of the vine, so we were all taught the gravity of that act.
One day, Grandma suddenly decided to turn on the radio during mealtime. At times, she would even have Grandpa increase the volume and often would begin singing along. I’m not certain who figured out her unexpected need for additional noise, but I will tell you now that it was not because Grandma decided to add a little class to our evening feasts on a whim. It was a very calculated decision on her part.
The change coincided with the arrival of music on our street and the nearby neighborhoods. Grandma was attempting to drown out the sounds of the Mr. Softee ice cream truck, which began to arrive while we were eating. She figured if she sang, and perhaps encouraged us to belt out tunes with her, we would not realize what we were missing. Besides spoiling our dinner, Mr. Softee was a luxury they could not afford for all of us.
Fast forward ahead about twenty years. I was now married, living in New York, and pregnant with Kelly. It was summertime, and Dad and I were inside with the windows wide open. Suddenly, an all too familiar tune of my childhood came drifting into the house—Mr. Softee! My long-forgotten buddy from New Jersey had found me!
During that pregnancy I craved two things: French onion soup dripping with cheese and Chipwiches, those delicious chocolate-chip ice cream sandwiches. Sadly, Mr. Softee did not sell onion soup, but to my great delight, he did sell Chipwiches. So for the remainder of that summer, I was able to satisfy that craving without leaving my house and Dad and I could enjoy dinner without loud radio music. I did not want to miss the visit from my old friend. Check out the old commercial. Mister Softee Commercial