Saturday, August 20, 2011



Paw was the kind of grandpa that was mean one minute,  then he'd go and do something nice.  So you always had to watch him real close.  Cause you never knew when the tide would turn.  He loved to come to my Mother's house and drive her crazy,  then make Daddy take him home.   Wasn't that he didn't like his daughter-in-law.  Oh, he liked her.  He just had this need to get somethin' started.  Then he was happy.
Like that little black book.  He carried it in his pocket always.  Seemed he kept real important stuff in it.  He'd never let me see what was written,  but he'd darn sure read it to me.
It was the ice cream truck.  I loved ice cream off of that truck.  I could hear that bell 2 or 3 streets off.  If Paw was there,  I'd go straight to him.  Begging,  couldn't be still.  Oh, please... gimme a dime,  just a dime. Can I have a dime.  He'd of course  pretend he didn't hear me at first.
I could hear that bell getting closer.  Those black asphalt streets would be hotter than hot coals on your feet.  Shoes?  Nope,  not in the summer time.  Not unless somebody died.  It seemed like that man was going to ring that bell right off the truck. I'd swear he was ringing it faster and faster.
At the same time listening to the bell,  I'd be beggin' Paw.  Oh, please, oh, please gimmee a dime.  Slowly,  ever so slowly he'd pull out that little black book.
"Let's see here now.  Says here you didn't pay me back for that last dime I give you.  Says that right here."   That's when I'd start testifying how I was gonna pay back every dime and more if he'd just give me one dime right now.  Oh,  Lord that ice cream truck is on my street,  which was paved.  But when he passed my house, he'd be turnin' onto one of those black top streets.  Those could blister your feet if you didn't keep movin'.
By the time that truck had gotten even with my house,  Paw was reaching into his pocket for that dime.  I just knew it was gonna be a dime.  Had to be.  But he was so slow.  That truck was 3 houses past my house when I ripped that dime outta his hand and started runnin'.
I was movin' fast.  Get outta my way,  get outta my way.  The truck was almost to the corner.  Oh, Lord let him have a flat tire.  I was runnin' faster than I thought was possible.  He hesitated for just a minute,  trying to decide which way to turn.  But I just knew it was cause he heard me screamin'  as loud as I could... "STOP".
By the time I slid into the side of that truck.... I couldn't speak.  I had a painful catch in my side,  sweat running in my eyes,  my voice gone.  Musta been the screamin'.  So I described, with my hands,  a drumstick with nuts on top as best I could.  That guy held up stuff until he got to the right one.
It was so cold it hurt my front teeth biting into it.  It was the best one ever. All that chocolate crust on top and nuts spilling every where.  Pure Heaven
When I'd drag myself back to the house,  there'd be nothing said between me and Paw.  We always knew there'd be a next time.  Another day,  another dime... maybe.
Oh, how I loved that ol'man.  He was a stinker,  but he loved me,  and I knew it.

PJ Hornberger 2011©  Carmine, Texas


  1. I love your story! Reminds me a lot of my childhood running after the ice cream truck! Thank you!

  2. HEHE, what a gr8 memory.... so did you ever pay your paw back? :o)

  3. Sandy, weren't those great times? Thanks! x's PJ

  4. Red, I am still counting... thanks!