Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eating Mt. Rushmore.......

My first "real" job was at a restaurant in Upland, California, called Betsy Ross' Ice Cream and Cafe. It was a three store chain that made their own ice cream in the rear of the Pomona store. They made great ice cream, but the real draw was the patriotically themed ice cream sundaes named The George Washington, Martha Washington, Washington Monument, and the 32 scoop Mount Rushmore. I can't remember all the sundaes......only my favorites.

I started out as a busboy, but moved up rapidly past dishwasher to the highly sought after position of fountain boy.

The restaurant was designed so that the ice cream was displayed at the entrance (ala Baskin Robbins) and the fountain boy was in full display in his white shirt, black pants, red paisley vest, and the, always stylish, red white and blue paper hat (Gandhi style). The job required showmanship, artistry, speed, and an incredibly strong wrist and forearm. I loved it! Especially Friday nights as the local high school football games ended and we were overrun with ice cream loving teenagers. Showtime! Tom Cruise had nothing on me (well, except for the looks and Nicole Kidman).

The 3 gallon ice cream containers were rotated from the zero degree freezer to a smaller freezer to allow it to soften some. Friday nights did not allow for this step, therefore, the ice cream was rock hard. My public, however, would not wait. The end result was the development of my right hand, wrist, and forearm. The job lasted through my freshmen year in college. My ice cream powered grip lasted until two years ago.

As I lost my fine motor skills in my right hand, I worried about losing my hand writing. I had not considered that this same loss of neurological connection in my brain would also cause my muscles to fail, causing a profound deterioration in strength.

I struggled to disconnect two garden hoses yesterday, eventually having to use a pair of pliers. Later, I couldn't open a bottled water.

It is as if there were 100 horses hooked to the wagon but only five of them are awake.


The good news: I've never lost my taste for a good Martha Washington!


  1. That was an amazing essay.
    Our losses make us appreciate things we've had, don't they? And they help us appreciate the things we love - like ice cream! One of the Universe's greatest gifts.
    Well said, Friend!

  2. Who needs Nicole Kidman when you've got ice cream like that? You may have lost your ice cream grip, but you haven't lost your grip on life and love.
    That's the ticket

  3. Fay,
    There are few things on earth better than a hot fudge sundae with a dab of whipped cream, a sprinkle of toasted almond chips, and a bright red maraschino cherry.

    Eating ice cream while watching "Eyes Wide Shut" wait, that's just demented!

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  5. Sir, there may only be five horses awake, but rest assured they are all fine powerful stallions readily admired.

  6. Hi There...what a great reminder to appreciate all there is when you have it....and that can also be said of the present...I need to work on that as well...Thanks for your comment on my art...I have been away for a few months and now have a new personal is

    ...this one here is just for art stuff and promotion now...part of me likes blogspot better..Take Care You...Ill be back to visit..!

  7. C'mon CW! Tom Cruise has nothing on you! I mean, my goodness... You have 'Superwoman'!! Gee... what else can you say?? :)

    Great memories! Thanks for sharing them with us! (so glad you still have that... memories!)

  8. Tom Cruise is a delusional whimp.

    But some of the things he noticed at that mansion were eye opening, for sure. Fine, powerful stallions, indeed.

  9. My first job was at Betsy Ross in upland. Did we work together??

  10. And my favorite sundae? the 76--vanilla w/ butterscotch and pecans


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