Tuesdays, Mondays, we all scream for sundaes

Let’s take a moment to talk about ice cream. But only a moment. On this holiday weekend, better to use your time eating ice cream, than reading about it. I’ll be brief.

My husband and I eat ice cream almost every day. (The current favorite flavor in our freezer is Stroh’s Moose Tracks.) While students at Michigan State University in the 1970s, we patronized the dairy store when we could afford to. From 1987-2007, with more money in our pockets, we pledged our allegiance to ice cream churned out 300 miles to the west: in the Babcock Hall dairy plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On summer weekends, we joined the long line leading to the ice cream counter in the Memorial Union, then took our cones outside to sit along the shore of Lake Mendota. I still miss the orange custard−chocolate chip at UW-Madison.

As a child, I visited the local Richardson’s Dairy with my family. We brought back our empty half-gallon glass milk bottles, in their handy wire carrier, to exchange for a new supply, then often headed to the back of the store for an ice cream cone. Both my parents like ice cream, too, and didn’t hold back on this treat.

During those childhood years, when the topic of ice cream arose, some older relative could be counted on to say, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” I figured it was just a play on words. Now I know that the phrase is actually the title of a 1927 tune by Robert King, Howard Johnson, and Billy Moll. It started as a novelty song, recorded by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, and later gained traction as a jazz piece.

Some call it a college song, because of the verse:

In the land of ice and snows
Up among the Eskimos
There’s a college known as Oo-gi-wa-wa.
You should hear those college boys
Gee! They make an awful noise
When they sing an Eskimo tra-la-la.
They’ve got a leader, big cheerleader, oh! what a guy
He’s got a frozen face, just like an Eskimo pie,
When he says “Come on, let’s go”
Tho’ it’s forty-five below
This is what those Eskimos will holler:
I scream, you scream,
We all scream for ice cream…

Here’s a fun bit of nostalgia for your 4th of July (instrumental only for the first minute, then vocals start):

Copyright © 2014 by Paulette Bochnig Sharkey
All rights reserved.

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This entry was posted in Music history, Reminiscences and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tuesdays, Mondays, we all scream for sundaes

  1. Jessa says:

    I’m so glad I’m not lactatded 🙂 sorely miss that orange choc chip, as well!

  2. Judie says:

    This is one relative that shares your love of ice cream!!!

    • I have fond memories of trips to the Dairy Queen on Orchard Lake Rd with you and June. I usually got a Dilly Bar — not really ice cream, some would argue, but nonetheless delicious!

  3. Riff Noggin says:

    That orange custard-chocolate chip is righteous – but my Babcock favorite was from the late 1970s: a scoop of subtle pumpkin and a scoop of sunflower. I sought it out on every campus visit for the next 15 years, but although a now-cloying pumpkin was plentiful, sunflower was gone. I’d ask the student scoopers, they’d look perplexed, and that was it. Finally, an “old timer” was at the counter, and told me that the sunflower seeds were too hard to keep fresh in the quantity required, so they quit making it. Sigh.

    • Although chocolate is usually my first choice, I like just about anything pumpkin-flavored — muffins, soup, bread, pie, butter — as long as its carefully seasoned and not too sweet. That Babcock Hall pumpkin/sunflower combo sounds heavenly!

  4. June ritchie says:

    Did gramps Payette tell you the story of his first ice cream cone?the story went he was about 3 and his older sister surprised him with a cone that the scoop of ice cream promptly fell out of on to the ground .and he cried oh no my egg my egg,!can you imagine a child of 3 today not knowing what a ice cream cone is!

  5. I’ve never heard that cute story. I can just imagine the tears and disappointment, not even really knowing what he’d lost!

  6. Sandy Shores says:

    How cute! I never knew that saying came from a song. I always learn something from your Blog, Paulette. Coming from a family who all loved ice cream, as a child I used to have contests with my dad to see which one could eat the most ice cream. I think I finally beat him at about the age of 17 and he never won again! LOL Like the saying goes, “there’s always room for ice cream!”

  7. Linda Triemer says:

    My mouth is watering!

  8. Aunt Evie says:

    Just got around to catching up with e-mail and your blog today, July 15! Also just got back from buying (on sale, of course) our favorite Edy’s Caramel Delight. How will I ever lose those 10 pounds (or more) before our granddaughter’s wedding in September? Not likely.

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