It’s the jingle heard in every neighborhood, and it hasn’t changed since the 1950’s.
I got stuck behind a Mister Softee ice cream truck on the way to a local park. I didn’t mind, I was smiling the whole time, mostly at the childhood memories.
In some neighborhoods that we’ve lived over the years, its popularity was in decline. Many homes have ice cream treats in their own freezer.
But in the 1950’s, that soft ice cream was special. Everyone, and I mean everyone, ran to the street and got in line. I believe the cones were about 10 cents at the time.
It didn’t matter that they often came in the early evening on a hot summer night, sometimes during family dinner hour.
We all waited, we all begged. Parents fought the good fight, but we usually won.
Living 30 miles west of Philadelphia, we might have been some of the first suburban targets.
The first ice cream van with soft whip ice cream had emerged in 1956 around the streets of West Philadelphia. On St. Patrick’s Day, two Irish brothers named William & James Conway gave away free soft green ice cream from a Chevrolet panel van.
This “moveable feast”, made possible with a freezer powered by an electric generator, emerged as Mister Softee, spreading the joy to the rest of the nation.
And in case you want to torture your family, here is the jingle. In a 10 minute loop.