Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jim Dandy to the Rescue

"My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate." -Thornton Wilder

There are few greater joys in childhood than when your parents announce the family will be going out for ice cream that night. Immediately, visions of combinations of flavors and toppings flood your head like sugarplums on a sleepy Christmas Eve. Oh, the wondrous, endless possibilities. You dream of multiple scoops with multiple sauces, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. You even venture to imagine what it would be like to order and consume the Stanley Cup of ice cream sundaes: The Jim Dandy.

Five scoops of ice cream, marshmallow, strawberry, and chocolate topping, walnuts, bananas, sprinkles and whipped cream served in a massive goblet. A confectionery paradise that my siblings and I would clamor for any time my dad would agree to take us to Friendly's. We'd pile in the back of the car - four of us crammed in, dreaming of Jim Dandy's frozen goodness, vocalizing our wishes.

My dad had the ability to go from zero to maniac in less than six seconds. More like three. That's how little time it took him to crush our chilled dreams and dash our ice cream spirits.
Ok... but do you have to yell like a madman? Ice cream was YOUR idea, crazy person. Excuse us for getting excited. Of course, we'd never say these things out loud, out of fear of a solid smack from Mr. Not-so-Softee. We'd end up getting a scoop or two. Maybe one topping. Two max. While DAD got a Jim Dandy. The hypocrite.

This little passion play took place so frequently that it has become part of my dad's legend. So for the first time, My Director and I decided to perpetuate that legend, and took Peanut for a Jim Dandy on Saturday.

She approves of this obnoxious concoction.
To say she was giddy during consumption
is an understatement.
Good to the last drop.
We took Peanut for this ridiculously too-big ice cream sundae on a frigid January Saturday because it was the 11th anniversary of my dad's death.  During lunch, I told My Director that this year was the first time I didn't feel an infinite sadness on this day. That's progress, I guess. I don't think I'll ever get over losing my dad, but I've gotten used to it. And that's the advice I sometimes share with people I know who have lost their parents. Those who seek it.

We had a great family day: snowman, sledding, birthday party, movie on the couch, taco night, capped off with the Jim Dandy. Was it way too much ice cream? Yes. Did Peanut have any problem finishing hers? Nope. (With My Director's help.) And she loved every bite.

And we got to talk about Popsie all day long because I kept hyping up this elusive treat.
"Can we do this again, daddy?"
"Maybe on Popsie's birthday in March."
"March?! That's when MY birthday is."
The legend grows.


  1. ahh such great memories. I too remembered dad by going to Atlantic City. For the first time, in a long time, i won! 3 card mini royal and a 3 of a kind! All i wanted to do was hit his arm and say " Dad, Look" He knew. Great job bro. Love u dad cam

  2. Dad and Mom really must've enjoyed going out for ice cream because we did it so much. In fact, despite the amusement of the Geiko Camel's proclamation of "hump day", I still say "Wednesday is Sundae at Carvel!" Once us kids started driving, the pen and paper came out, we'd make a list of everyone's order, and go get our family's treat. Dad usually getting some pineapple coconut combo -- Mom steadfast with strawberry and maple walnut. Soon, Mrs. Walker's arrived on the scene and before you could say "Jim Dandy" the cashier would announce your total was $50. On ice cream?? Well, it was "homemade". But it's the memories that are priceless.

  3. We frequent Friday's often. I let them get whatever they want for ice cream. Much for the same reason that you did for Peanut. :)

  4. Need to try Jim Dandy! Looks delish! Interesting point there that pain gets easier and that's progress! Nice pics !

  5. What a great story! and one that I needed to read today. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Loved your memory - aren't Dad's awesome! They are firecrackers waiting to go off some days and marshmallows the next.
    Love the pic, that is some ice cream she is enjoying, very nice!

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