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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Be Merry!

You know how it is when you get together with friends for dinner and a few beers:
The conversation quickly turns to religion, politics, and… Ice Cream (at least when women are involved).

Last night at a group dinner, one topic lead to another which lead to someone asking “Remember Merry Mobiles?” A few of us did; most did not.

So, in keeping with our motto of “Think. Drink. Be Merry.” I present a short history of something you’ll either fondly remember or say to yourself, “What the hell is that?”

When I was a kid, one of the summer pleasures was the sound of a bell clanging down the street. That bell signaled one thing: ICE CREAM!

Now, I know that ice cream trucks are not that unusual. The ones that rolled down Taft Ave. and many other U.S. streets were. I present The Merry Mobile!

The Merry Mobile served Dreamsicles, Drumsticks, Red White and Blue Rockets, Lemon Ice Box Pie, Sky Blue Popsicles, Root Beer pops, orange sherbet Push-Ups, and many other frozen treats to melt a kid’s heart.

Merry Mobiles operated from the mid-195s until the early 1970s. They were powered by one-cylinder engines, and the ice cream was kept frozen by dry ice.

Unfortunately, these were replaced with more efficient, yet more mundane, modes of transportation. Most of the Merry Mobile fleets were destroyed for scrap.

This image is from Lickety Split Ice Cream -- the proud owner of a completely restored original 1950's Merry Mobile ice cream car and operating in Memphis, TN.

Sir Bowie "Think. Drink. Steal a Merry Mobile and Give Away Ice Cream to Kids. Be Merry" of Greenbriar


  1. Brilliant...seeing one of those beauties as a kid in the USA , must have made an indelible memory for life.

    In the UK, we had the normal Mr Whippy Ice Cream vans that tinkled the tune "GreenSleeves" when it was in the street ( i'm sure Henry the 8th never dreamed it would be used for that when he composed it )

    My Father , of course, made us kids believe that when the music played this meant the van had run out of Ice Cream.

    Sir Dayvd ( who's turned out remarkable well rounded, considering ) of Cow-Crossing

  2. orange push ups ruled!

    and dreamsicles were dreamy

    then I graduated to orange juice and Myers dark rum

    Lady Suz
    I sense a theme - an orange theme!

    thanks for the memories Sir B

  3. The ice cream man is coming! The ice cream man is coming!

    I remember the Merry Mobile riding down Taylor. Kids scrambling for change from their parents. Running towards the round beast. Clambering up the side to get to an ordering height. I don't remember what I ordered. Push-ups probably.

    It's unfortunate that my childhood memories are now replaced by a distrust of the intentions of some.

    Looking forward, glancing back.

  4. wow...brilliant...I love that Sir J

    looking forward, glancing back -

    may become my newest life motto!

    Lady S

  5. I would have to go buy ice cream from this contraption. Never seen one before today. Born in 1969.

  6. Want a dream cycle little girl? So, keep me away from the Merry Mobile! LOL!

    Agreed on Sir James...great concept...looking forward, glancing back. Like driving while looking in the rear view mirror...always seeing where you're going and where you've come from.

    Of course, Sir D would call this impossible, because "you have to live in the now"!

    Sir Hook...Past, Present, Future...It Doesn't Matter When You Have Ice Cream of Warrick

  7. this has been a week where phone calls and newspapers bring the news of yet another passing of friends, friends' parents, grandparents...all a reminder that it may not matter what is behind you or in front of you...

    Today may be all there is so live it, love it and carpe diem!

    Lady Suzanne
    who is buying sympathy cards in bulk these days

  8. Ah yes, I remember push-ups fondly. I don't seem to recall any orange ones, though - mostly cotton with maybe a little lace...

    Sir Lance "Geting my mind out of the gutter now" of Brentwood

  9. ewwwwwwwwwww that's a picture of my brother I don't need in my mind

    okay off to find soem cold water to purge my brain - later might have to find an ale or two -

    Lady S

    who's wondering if my sister-in-law reads this blog????

    thank goodness our mom doesn't (yes mom, we really only saw the queens castle...are there really pubs in England, you say?)