Mar 28, 2009

Ice Cream In The Family

In my last post I mentioned an ice cream making family business that has been in operation for over 100 years - Luchini's homemade ice cream in the English Lake District. That is just one example of many families around the world whose passion for making their own ice cream has been passed on from generation to generation.

Another way in which I have come across a family tradition connected with ice cream is when I have read about famous people who seem proud to mention their family having had an ice cream business or operating an ice cream truck. Two such people whom I've written about before in a Blog Of Ice Cream are:

1. Ronnie O'Sullivan - last autumn I had just read the autobiography of this snooker genius and in the book I was struck by a photograph of him as a young boy sat on the bonnet of an ice cream truck which was run by his family.

2. Anthony Minghella the Oscar winning movie director who sadly died last year was from a family with a long established ice cream business.

Read about both of these in my Tradition of the Ice Cream Man post.

This week it was the anniversary of the death of a famous British comedian, Tommy Cooper, who sadly died on stage during a performance 25 years ago. Amongst the press, tv and radio tributes to him and to his life, I picked up on a point that was mentioned more than once - about ice cream. Apparently, Tommy's parents used to operate an ice cream van, selling ice cream to the public at fairgrounds; Tommy also claimed he would sometimes even help sell ice cream from one of the windows of their house. Thankfully, Tommy did not take up a career as an ice cream salesman, for whilst he would probably have made a success of it, I believe he made the world a far better place by allowing us to share in his natural, comic genius.

I must share with you one of his best loved jokes which involved ice cream and a Knickerbocker Glory ....

So I went down my local ice cream shop, and said:
"I want to buy an ice-cream."
"Hundreds & thousands?" said the ice cream man
"We'll start with one." I said
"Knickerbocker Glory?"said the ice cream man
"Well, I do get a certain amount of freedom in these trousers, yes."

The ice cream world's loss was truly the real world's gain. Thank you Tommy Cooper.

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