Saturday, August 13, 2005

Ice Picks

At the above site is found an article regarding relaxation of rules concerning checking passengers at airports, a situation arising after Homeland Security became an installation. The 7th paragraph regarding what items have been taken off the list of "disallowed" items is the reason for my comments. Please read the news article before continuing.

Being almost 65 years old, I know about ice picks! Today I wonder why they would be carried on an airplane for we do not have need of chipping ice in this modern time. Do we? Maybe there are still places where these passengers are traveling to that have the need to chip ice.

If I let my mind wander, all I can come up with is at one time we did have a need for them - to chip ice!

In the 1940s we had an icebox - a very stylish wooden 'appliance', a golden varnished finish outside and lined with metal, to hold ice, a BIG block of ice, very clear ice that you could see through and even read a page of print or stare into another's face through, and make faces at each other, which we did just for the joy we got from simple things in life.

Harmon Ice and Coal Co. made delivery of ice, house to house, a couple times weekly. We could order our block of ice by the pound - however many pounds needed to tide us over until the next delivery. I can recall we usually bought a 50# block.

As a young wild child of nature, any thing out of the ordinary day was an exciting adventure. Being on the low end of economic status, we were thrilled with small pleasures.

Probably all those who lived in town at this time had real refrigerators but we did not and neither did any of our neighbors. We must have been "po folks", although I did not realize this until just a few short years ago. We even had neighbors who must have been more poor than we, for some would come to "borrow" some of our ice.

Nevertheless, we were very happy and enthused with our lives, such as they were with its simplicity. On "Ice Day", we children got very excited, for when Mr. Brinkley drove up and stopped we were all waiting by the side of the road, jumping up and down, chattering and laughing and all those things that little kids do when in "high alert happy status". We would excitedly watch him measure off the exact amount we ordered and he would cut that amount off a huge, very huge, block of the most beautiful clear ice you can ever imagine. He used a big ice pick to cut off our purchase, too big and dangerous for me to ever want to get close to.

With the cutting, lots of small chips fell to the floor of his truck. Then the real fun began, for he allowed us to pick up these smaller pieces to carry away and suck on. Oh, what an exquisite gift we were given on those Ice Delivery Days. Mr. Brinkley was an angel in disquise, no doubt about it!

Of course, we tried to get the biggest pieces possible, so that they would last longer. What with the broiling sunshine they didn't last long enough to suit us though and we were not allowed to wantonly chip at the main block in our icebox for it had to last until the next delivery day so as to keep whatever bits of butter or milk that were being kept cold would stay in this condition until all used up. But there were occasions we did slip and steal off the block when no one was in the kitchen.

I can remember crunching and sucking on this gifted small chunk of ice and drips of cold water rolling down and dropping off my elbow - cold as ice, it was! I recall even rubbing this piece of ice on the top of my feet, arms, face, all over to cool me down. My feet got extremely hot running around barefooted during the summer months and this ice was such a relief on them. I do recall shaking the excess water off the ice after doing this to get rid of any dirt and germs attached to it before popping it back to my mouth. My heavens, how I'm still kicking today I wonder!

Mr. Brinkley would latch onto our big purchase with what he called ice tongs ( another very big, dangerous implement to my young innocent eyes) up to the house, into the kitchen and place it in our ice box, then turn to my grandmother, collecting the coins due him.

The ice was cheap at today's monetary standard rates, for it was much under $1 for that big block. In fact, I don't recall ever actually seeing a paper dollar bill until much time later in my childhood. I was amazed at this item also - I didn't feel it was worth as much as silver coins, the "Real Money".

For a couple of days this big block delighted us every time we would look at it, but gradually it started losing its pristine square shape and the corners began to round off. Chipping some off with the Ice Pick made it lose its clean stark lines too, of course. After a few days, it had melted down to just a small hunk. Usually it was gone before delivery day came around and as such we had no perishable food stored in the Ice Box.

Those were the days of simplicity, happiness and delight with being alive. ah, the glory of being a child.

Now today we have to contend with rules that make me wonder where we are at and where we are heading. Rules against carrying nail clippers, and cigaret lighters, safety razors and such on board a plane. Rules against ice picks being brought aboard. Now today that one rule has changed- you may legally take your ice pick on board to fly wherever you may be going. Let's just hope the passenger who carries his ice pick is actually heading for a big block of ice to chip away at it to his heart's content.

Enjoy your day today. Go to the 'fridge and take out an ice cube and suck on it, enjoying the pleasre of it dripping off your elbows! Of course it won't be the crystal clear piece I enjoyed in days of yore, unless it is made with clean pure water.

All the "purifying" additives such as chlorine and flouride, to name just a couple in our tap water today, help to make the ice cloudy white. Try using spring water and see the beautiful difference some time. It even tastes better.

Enjoy life but watch what planes you get on, for today its legal to carry on your own personal Ice Pick. You can also take your own Bow and Arrows if you like! I sometimes wonder about the ones who make the rules! Do you ever?



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