The Ice Cream Vendor

Fidel's Ice Cream

“Scorn ye not man’s humble trade.”

In the oppressive heat he presented a welcome sight. His product, made from fruits in season, tasted delicious and smelled fragrant. He called it “sorbetes,” from the word sorbet or sherbet as I later would learn.

The ice cream cart had bells hung like Christmas ornaments on the three ornately designed covers of the ice cream metal tube containers. From a kilometer away I heard him coming with those brilliant and crisp sounding bells.

Everybody knew everybody in our small town. People knew where they fit in the social and economic strata. The ice cream vendor belonged to the working class. He wasn’t invited to many of the ostentatious social gatherings. He toiled and tried other fruit and nut blends, improving his product with each passing day. Always friendly he smiled and listened to his customers amassing information he used to ultimately improve his ice cream.

The ice cream vendor recently passed away. A short footnote in the local newspaper summarized his brief stay in this world. No names mentioned, just his humble trade that served as his identity. No one noticed his absence from the business square much. As one of his most appreciative customers I most certainly did. His two sons whom he sent through college from his ice cream vending income retired the ice cream cart and opened a bigger ice cream parlor. They franchised their father’s business and expanded it to the three neighboring towns.

Not a bad record of accomplishment for a lowly ice cream vendor. With our active participation, we make society whole. With our lives purposefully lived we make the world go round.