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Today in My History

2000:  Dis-Connected
2001:  Movies to Sleep By
2002:  True Confessions
2003:  It's the Little Things
2004:  More about Aussies
2005:  Being George Bush
2007:  Answering the Call
2008:  It Seems So Long, Part 2
2009:  Ramon
2010:  What's That Needle Doing in my Skull?
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2012: Don't Rain on My Flotilla

Bitter Hack
: 6/3
"Les Miserables"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 5/9

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mail to Walt


4 June 2013

There was an ice cream social at Covell Gardens this week.   Judging by how few people came, I assume these are regular gatherings, nothing special.  But I made sure my mother went, so she got into the idea of joining activities.

She apparently had gone out to the front lobby before I got there, thinking maybe something was happening, but saw nothing.  The social was at the other end of the hall, in the area where there is an afternoon tea each day (cookies on a platter, coffee pot set up) ...all near the soda fountain (which I have yet to see open) and the popcorn machine where you can get a movie theater box of popcorn, fresh from the popper, in the afternoon. 

Food is very big at Covell Gardens.

There was a cart with two employees serving ice cream cones in big waffle cones that took four scoops to fill.  I had butter pecan, my mother had vanilla (which surprised me because her favorite ice cream is mint chocolate and they had a big tub of it).  There were no vacant seats near other people, so we sat in two chairs that were together and engaged in people watching, four people in a group, two kids (obviously grand or great-grandchildren), a couple of employees, and some folks sitting on the other side of the hall on couches. 

One rather large guy in a motorized cart was laughing with his group that he was finishing his second cone and if he asked for a third, people would get angry with him.  As his cart rolled by, I joked with him and asked if he was allowed to drive that cart while under the influence of ice cream.  He said he had driven it under the influence of a lot more dangerous substances than ice cream.

We didn't exactly do much socializing, but the ice cream was good and it was nice to take a walk in the building and stop to check mail en route, and show my mother that there are activities going on every day.

Ice cream was always a big part of my growing up, especially after Earl Swensen opened his first creamery two blocks from our house. The big deal was that there was a big plate glass window in front and they made the ice cream right there, where everyone could watch.

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My father joked many times that their window says "see us freeze" and that he had been looking all those years and never did see them.

The shop is on the cable car line so you could get off the cable car and walk right into the shop and get a cone. Across the street was the Searchlight Market, where the owner gave me my first kitten, when he learned I was home with the measles (the cat grew up and ran away first chance he got).

I loved going to Swensen's for ice cream.  I waited for summer each year so I could have some peach ice cream, one of my favorites.  In the winter time I looked forward to egg nog ice cream. I also remember when they first got waffle cones in and how good the ice cream tasted in a waffle cone vs those bland regular cones.  If I could afford it, I ordered mine "dipped," the ice cream dipped in a warm chocolate sauce that hardened to a nice brittle covering in seconds.

Every Halloween, if we went into the store, we got a free ice cream cone, our choice of pumpkin or licorice.

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Earl always had a photograher there to take pictures of the groups and then the next week your parents could go and buy a copy.  That's me circled in white and my sister Karen circled in red.  My friend Gayle is the pirate girl on my right and our friend Georgette is the girl behind me on the left with the white rim of her hat showing.

When I first got pregnant, the thing my father was most looking forward to was the baby being old enough that he could take him/her with him to get an ice cream cone at Swensen's. It had been my plan to end this entry with the photo I took of Jeri and her grandfather standing on the hill in front of our house, on their way to get ice cream cones, but my photo albums of that period have become so inaccessible, that you'll just have to use your imagination.

Suffice to say, it was on of my father's favorite moments, taking his granddaughter to Swensens for an ice cream cone.


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And  here's that granddaughter today!

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