It was the last baseball game of the Babe’s career. Now about 50 pounds overweight, his swung gulped hard like a whirling dervish and missed on the first pitch at his first appearance at the plate that day. He ended awkward lying flat on the ground, spitting blood down his cheek, needing help to get back up to his feet. The pitcher was that fellow who three years earlier in the World Series the Babe had mocked by first pointing to the right center-field bleachers and then stroking a mammoth home run to that exact location. Now this same hurler was mocking and taunting him with sadistic pleasure as Ruth stood helplessly at the plate waiting to continue his at-bat.
At the age of eight I was old enough to recognize when Spring had sprung. The days were at least a temperature of fifty degrees Fahrenheit and Daylight Savings arrival and made the sun stay out past 8:00pm. That’s also when three different ice cream trucks would make its way at various times of the evening within a few block radius of Quincy Street in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Each truck driver knew his territory in the fight for a kid’s hard won allowance money and made sure not to bud in on the competition or suffer the consequences.
The compact, white colored Good Humor truck had a picture of an ice cream bar on the side panel. Chiming bells was instant recognition that Good Humor was somewhere in the area. The driver dished out to willing customers with appropriate coinage orange colored creamsicles, various flavored popsicles and sundry ice cream cones. Continue reading “Prize Worthy”