Ice Cream Freezer

For months and months and months after he’d seen the old ice-cream freezer in my house, Mikey wanted to make ice cream. I always put him off because I didn’t really KNOW how to make ice cream. Finally I read a recipe in the cook book my Aunt Martha had given me so I knew. It was just — as I always believed — frozen milk with other stuff added in. Then came a day, one of the best days of my life and maybe one of the best days of the boys’ lives. On the way home from the BMX jumps, we stopped by the store where I bought salt and everything we needed to grill burgers and roast marshmallows — and make ice-cream. Mikey was over the moon, plus I was letting him sit in the middle front seat of the Ford Ranger so he could shift. Really, when is life better than THAT???

I know not every late-30s/early-40’s woman hangs out with a half a dozen kids, but we were friends.

Mikey and his brother lived about a block from me, up the alley. Their friends from school hung around on weekends. I had a truck. The BMX jumps were at the urban wilderness park where I hiked. The rest is history.

We got home from our hot afternoon — August 15, 1992 — and I set Mikey up with the ice cream freezer. I gave Jason a can of WD40 so he could see what was up with the old Ford in the back of my back yard. Jimmy disappeared and I found him in my room writing a story on my Macintosh (old school, black and white screen, etc.). Mike Smith — the tragedy of the long story that was our lives — was still around and he just helped out generally. Mike Smith was a natural athlete and a charismatic character with a prescient home tattoo of flames on his ankle.

I was still making the video of the boys at the jumps, so I hauled out the camera and video taped that late afternoon as part of the film we were making. It’s all on videotape in my “studio” play room, whatever. I also took still pictures that evening and I”m happy I did. It turned out to be a very important day for everyone in that yard.

And the ice cream was good. We put strawberries on top and Mikey didn’t even mind being pretty much the only guy turning the crank.

17 thoughts on “Ice Cream Freezer

  1. Those boys were lucky to have such a cool neighbor as you were. What special memories – ice cream from “scratch” the old fashioned way. A real event. That smile in the first photo says it all ❀️

  2. I celebrated my 50th this week with ice cream. And you were there. Those guys were lucky to have you around. I’d say we all are. ❣

  3. That brings back memories! When I was in HS, the church had an old fashioned ice cream social where the ice cream was made right there – and the youth group (I was the President) had to provide the crank power. They had a dozen ice cream churns going. My arm was never so sore! But it was really tasty – as I recall I was cranking the blueberry and didn’t get any of that flavor and instead ended up having peach which was probably better!

    • In the Nebraska town where I lived as a kid, after every little league game, some church would do that. It was fantastic. We’d ride our bikes over to the church and yeah. In every respect it was sweet.

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