Image courtesy of Pinterest
In true U.S.A. fashion, the TexPat spent the Memorial Day weekend manning the grill, enjoying diet-destroying portions of burgers and ribs, hanging out on beautiful, flower-filled early summer days in the back (less than) forty, and serving up heaping scoops of ice cream – a combo of some artisanal espresso variety I picked up at the local farmer’s market and Haagen-Dazs vanilla (can’t go wrong with that). The TexPat was way too full and waist-conscious to savor that “welcome summer!” tradition, but suffice it to say that a good deal of ice cream was consumed at the ranch. This long overdue hint of summer here in the Northeast took me back to the (very) warm, Texas summer days of my youth. Sultry Saturdays and Sundays when we piled into the Pontiac, and my Dad drove us to the local Polar Bear ice cream parlor for lemon custard (Daddy’s favorite) or rocky road (Mom’s favorite). For some reason, though I remember so many details of that experience, down to the sweat beads on my bony forearms to the sanitized, refrigerated scent of the store, I can’t remember my favorite flavor. Perhaps it’s because I tried a wide variety and never stuck to any one favorite for very long – which may explain my Wanderlust to this day.
Coincidentally, when I glanced at my Pinterest page while waiting on line at the drugstore this morning, I noticed a pin of one of Dallas’ long gone Polar Bear ice cream parlors that someone pinned from one of the Oak Cliff, Dallas historic sites. And not just any Polar Bear, but the one my family used to frequent in our Oak Cliff neighborhood (other than those Sundays when we decided to take a leisurely drive across town to the Oak Lawn ice cream parlor on Knox Street, across from Weir’s home furnishings, whose windows we used to browse while enjoying our frozen treats). I’ve posted it above.
The photo makes me ponder whether my, over-scheduled, over-managed little New Yorker has the same heady vision of wonderfully long, lazy summer days that I have. To a degree, I assume that she does. Though I reflect often on my Oak Cliff youth, including my long TexPatch regarding my adventures exploring my Oak Cliff stomping grounds as it transitions into something very Brooklyn/Oakland-like, I am sure that my experience, though personal, is not singular. That we all may have some sliver of our childlike selves that are allowed to come to the surface in the summer thaw, wherever we spent those youthful summer days.
Of course, being a native Texan, I’m inclined to persuade you that mine was the best, whether it was good or godawful. Luckily my Oak Cliff, Dallas childhood was pretty good, even before the community became cool. Speaking of which, I just stumbled upon a site with a wide selection of ironic, Oak Cliff t-shirts, in true Brooklyn/Oakland style. The tipping point?
t-shirts from Skreened
Welcome to summer madness!