OPINION: I don’t play flavourites when it comes to ice cream

Nadine Wark

Remember those endless warm sunny days when, as a kid, you had the whole summer to indulge in ice cream?

Summer and ice cream just go together.

In Corunna, there were no specialized shops like today, but the local variety stores served up both cones and milkshakes. I can remember a milkshake maker on a counter behind the cashier, and believe that brand is still out there today.

Come summer, some of us would put the penny candy on hold and concentrated on filling up on frozen dairy. My friends and I would pick out the flavours we wanted, which in the early days were mainly chocolate, vanilla, strawberry. A single scoop cost 10 cents; a double was 25.

It was hard to choose even then, and today some stores offer 50 or more flavours. Now that’s what I call progress!

In addition to scooped cones, you could lift the lid on small freezers and choose from a wide assortment of frozen bars, nutty cones, ice cream sandwiches, and those small containers that came with a wooden spoon attached.

A couple of restaurants in Corunna served milkshakes and sundaes. My mother once worked at a place called the Wagon-Wheel, and I think that’s where I first got hooked on milkshakes. She used to say, “I don’t know how you can drink that much of the same thing … so cold! (She was a tea-drinker).

As a teen I spent my summers in Alvinston. Its two restaurants – the Hilltop and Stover’s – each served up their own ice cream concoctions, all approved by me.

The old-fashioned booths and stools at the counter had small tabletop jukeboxes, and a larger one about mid-way down the aisle. We would pop in a quarter and listen to a good old rock ‘n roll tune as we downed milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits. For some reason, I would envision my mother looking on as she sipped her tea.

Sometimes, a fellow named Roy Murray would pile the neighborhood kids in a VW bus and drive us to the now long-gone Dairy Queen on Vidal Street, where we were all treated to a Dilly Bar.

Back then, no seat belts were required and the bus was filled with boisterous kids all moving around.

These days, I still enjoy ice cream and have a real thing for milkshakes. They conjure up memories of my youth, when ice cream treats were a big part of my endless summer days.

Nadine Wark is a retired office administrator and freelance writer in Sarnia