Crank It Up
Homemade ice-cream and writing are two of my favorite things. You can see by this picture that I had been introduced to both by the age of four. I couldn’t read, but I would pretend by making up stories and reciting them aloud to anyone who would listen.
I remember vividly when this picture was taken.
Virgil Lindsay was a close friend to my dad. He came over often. He and Daddy would talk about the Bible and discuss world news. Mr. Lindsay had come over to enjoy some homemade ice-cream with us. I was on my way outside to play when I caught sight of Mr. Lindsay sitting on the back porch. He was sitting there smoking a cigarette and reading the newspaper. As I peered at him through that rackety, old screen door, I concluded, “He’s out there all alone. I should go out there and keep him company.” The door screeched as I opened it. I didn’t wait for an invitation. I walked over and sat down beside him. “Whatcha’ doin’?” I inquired. “Just reading the paper, honey.” We sat in silence for a few moments. I looked into his eyes and then to the newspaper. I searched them to see if I could follow what he was reading. It must have been important, because he wasn’t the least bit interested in continuing our conversation. “I can read the paper, too.” I informed him. “You can?” he snickered. “Yes sir, I can. Do you want me to read it to you?” I politely asked. Mr. Lindsay handed me the paper with eager anticipation of what was going to come out of my mouth. My eyes focused on the comics. An entire oratorial flowed from my lips about some random subject. He made a valiant attempt to contain his laughter, so that my feelings wouldn’t be hurt, but he couldn’t stifle all the giggles. Someone came out of the house and snapped the picture with a Brownie camera.
The rusty, crank style ice-cream freezer was on the porch beside me. I wish I had a penny for every gallon we made, and a nickel for every gallon that I ate. Mother would make a mix of vanilla, banana, peach, or strawberry cream, whichever received the most family votes. She would pour it into the cannister. Daddy would put the cannister into the freezer and pack it with ice and rock salt, layering it in such a way to create cold water, as the rock salt melted the ice. The freezing water is what made the cream solidify. Each of us took turns cranking it until it was ready. It seemed to take forever to crank. Once done, Daddy would drain the water out of the freezer. He would remove the crank, add fresh ice, and cover it all with newspaper to cure. This would be the destiny of the comic page I had been reading aloud to Mr. Lindsay! That was okay by me, because I couldn’t wait to have a bowl of that ice-cream!
It’s funny how the events of our youth prepare us for what’s to come later in life. I am a columnist for a local paper, and writing is my passion. The stories I tell now aren’t made up, rather they are true.
As for the ice-cream, my sister-in-law owns a homemade ice-cream business. On occasion, I help her with that. My love for all the flavors is still with me. Like Virgil Lindsay with my paper reading, I have to make valiant attempts to contain myself by not diving into the cream headfirst. Sometimes I am able to stifle the urge, other times not. I just hope that no one is close by to snap a picture. I wouldn’t want that to end up on the Internet!