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The Melt-Down

by Eva Pasco 

sixites ice creamDuring those long hot summers of the Sixties, we'd pile up in the Plymouth Suburban station wagon or one of my dad's restored Bonnie & Clyde mobiles after dinner for a leisurely drive with no particular destination in mind. A prerequisite before takeoff: crank the windows all the way down so the breeze drafted by momentum plastered our hair back from our faces and made our eyes squint. Under my father's direct order and through mutual disdain, my sister and I sat by our respective doors--two backseat barbarians under surveillance for fighting from the rear view mirror. As far as I was concerned, nothing could be finer than cruising along to the Beach Boys trailing the lyrics to "All Summer Long" (1964)," realizing even as a youngster, all good things come to an end...won't be long till summer time is through...

Depending on the myriad turns my father took, we'd wind up either at Dairy Queen for soft serve ice cream or Edwards, the Baskin-Robbins of its time in good old Fairlawn, the citified village of Lincoln. Any ice cream pit stop was against my father's better judgment due to a double entendre melt-down--one from the inevitable mishaps perpetrated by my sister wielding an ice cream cone; the other being the fit my dad would take on behalf of upholstery. Oh, he attempted to regulate my sister's ice cream consumption by confining her scoop to a cup, but he softened like vanilla swirl when she cried for a cone. She also resisted my mother's dissuasion from ordering pistachio, dutifully aiding and abetting my sister by licking the drips of her least favorite flavor from a soggy sugar cone.

Once, at my father’s insistence, we nibbled our ice cream standing near the takeout window, but the sultry summer air only hastened the melt-down, and the thrill was not quite the same as enjoying the ever evolving scenery from inside a moving vehicle. Henceforth, fortified with plenty of napkins, my father would dole out our ice cream cones through the open windows of the car, and admonish my sister not to bite the bottom of her cone. Not long into the cruise she'd do just that, or squeeze the cone too hard such that it collapsed, prompting my mother to drape over the front seat and rectify the situation. My father would waffle vehemently in the aftermath of these disasters.

In retrospect, those melt-downs would come to pass as my sister and I came of age in the Sixties. These same meltdowns surface every now and then to the tune of...’Member when you spilled ice cream all over the carseat...We've been havin' fun all summer long...Somehow the simple pleasures of life from a bygone era spill into our thoughts and we savor their flavor before they melt away.


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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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