Custom Search
logo
The online car show dedicated to American-made iron: old skool, new school, and no school
Home Join Login Member cars Games Calculators Tips

Chapter 16 - The Iceman Cometh - Top Floor, Right Side, Front -- 1950 -1955

Inspired by and based upon a true Life Story

Photo of my dads [Similar] 1950 GMC ice truck

Icemen of the early 1930's and '40's

...Two passers bye helped me reload the ice after it fell off the truck due to forgetful tailgate incident...lol

Photo of my parents "summer home" located in Oyster Bay, NY from 1961 thru 1968....This photo was probably taken some time in the late 18 hundreds judging from the freshly planted trees in the foreground and also the extension on the left side of the home is missing, probably built and added at a later date.....This home was very much like the "Great Gatsby Home".....Over the hill and not to far away was Theodore Roosevelt's home now turned into a museum ~ Clicking on this photo will enlarge it enough to be able to see people (?) standing at its entrance....

I have just now on September 20, 2016 received some additional information regarding the 'Great Gatsby' films ~ I never knew this before ~Jeff Gardocki has provided this info ~ " The Great Gatsby (1926), (now lost) The Great Gatsby (1949), – with Alan Ladd, The Great Gatsby (1974), – with Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, The Great Gatsby (2000), – a made-for-TV movie starring Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino and The Great Gatsby (2013), – with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire. "

Pre - Customized 1949 Chevy on our trip to Canada around 1951....My mom is situated behind and at the end of the car, but if one were to click on this photo to get a larger picture, on the left side one could see a lady walking towards the car that I believe is my younger sister Dolly with my brother Vito sitting down just behind her view....Nick

Customized 1949 Chevy in the year 1955 ~ For this full car story and my meeting Eddie Fisher the great singer who also knew Frank Sinatra click on this link ~ http://www.americantorque.com/page/0/2143/

Theodore was a great hunter and his home contained many of his hunted animals mounted on his wall

CHAPTER 16

MEMORY LANE -- 1950/1955 ICEMAN COMETH

Top Floor, Right Side, Front

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yrd6caXygw

..........It would be 1950, I was only 15 years old and I was driving my dads ice truck over the Queensboro Bridge in heavy traffic and heading for the ice plant located on 90th street in Manhattan..........

..........I had never done this before and at this age I was a little nervous about it, but I continued on to my described destination.....I had to purchase 5 cakes of ice from the ice plant after I backed the truck into the delivery dock and platform of this Manhattan plant.......I was concerned and hoping that there would not be too many other trucks there, for if there were other trucks loading up, it meant I had to be an expert backing the truck up to the dock and steering between the other vehicles.....My other concerns were that when each cake of ice was delivered out onto the dock from the plant they would come out standing tall and upright and they each weighted 300 pounds apiece...They had to be twisted using ice tongs and by placing ones foot at the base of the ice and tripping the cake of ice down on its side......It was tricky and almost like a wrestling match with ice I thought to myself......But onward I drove the truck and I was soon approaching the ice plant....

........My dad who worked six and many times seven days a week was ill, which he never was, and was counting on me to take the reins for the day.......When I was 12 years old my parents had found a new home in Astoria, Queens, moving their family there, to start a new life and that was why I had to drive over the bridge to get to the ice plant.......The days of the push ice wagon were gone and it was time to move on to the ice truck.......There was a time when most customers were all on the same block in the city but with the invention of the refrigerator the ice business was spreading out to other areas in the city as my dad bought up [purchased] more and more businesses from other retiring icemen......One could no longer use a push ice wagon but instead needed to buy a modern ice truck and as a "some what artist myself" it also became my job to paint the picture, on the side of the truck, of a pail with ice cubes pouring out of the pail.......This was really fun to do and I enjoyed doing it on both sides of the truck......

........I finally reached the ice plant on 90th street and I was lucky as I got there early and was able to back the truck up to the dock without any trouble........Now it was time to get the order of five cakes of ice delivered to the dock for my wrestling match with the ice and than the sliding of each cake into the truck.......When the ice came out onto the dock platform I took a deep breath, grabbed the 300 lb cake of ice with my ice tongs and with visions of a smashed foot, I proceeded to twist the cake of ice and wrestle it to the ground.... It actually worked [I thought to myself, what a piece of cake, no pun intended].......I then loaded the ice onto the truck, got into the drivers side, drove off into the sunset and was extremely proud of myself..........

........Driving up 90th street on to Second Ave I made a left turn and in order to avoid an on rushing city bus coming towards and behind me I gave the truck the much needed gas that it needed when I suddenly heard a loud crash and bang coming from the back of the truck........I pulled the truck over to the side of the road got out of the vehicle and looked behind me to see what had happened.........When I saw the five cakes of ice all over Second Ave, broken into large chucks of ice, I realized that I had forgotten to close the tail gate when I left the ice plant.....Fortunately I was able to pick up the broken ice cakes and reloaded them back onto the truck and was able to sell them after re-sculpturing them to proper size, but lost much needed time in doing so......

In addition to my Dad's (RIP) Memory and someday mine also, I would also like to dedicate the above Memory to a fellow worker at an insurance company I worked at for many years, to a guy by the name of John Miller (RIP), as he always enjoyed listening to the above story and we would always have some great laughs together whenever he would remind me of this story happening.....

***************************************************************************

........It would soon be time for the ice mans festival located in the Bronx somewhere near the base of the Whitestone Bridge........The festival was a meeting of many ice men with their families and friends at a large barbeque.......The food that each family bought to the festival/feast was excellent and was shared by all families attending.......As the years passed and the festival became larger and larger the icemen attending would start bringing there automobiles to this event rather than their trucks......Times were starting to get better for these families and the auto was the latest in this cycle of moving up the ladder of life........At the time it was around 1952 and I was 17 years old.......Our family had earlier purchased a 1949 Chevrolet that we would use to take us to the festival.........The drive to the festival only took about 30 to 45 minutes as we were close to the Bronx living in Astoria, Queens......

.......When we reached the grounds of the festival and parked our '49 Chevy the usual familiar faces were present amongst the hundred and hundreds of people celebrating this iceman's holiday.......My dad would take out from the Chevy trunk the skinny sausage and the small pieces of lamb that was leaf rapped with chicken guts and start to prepare the barbeque for this extraordinary icemen's holiday.........After visiting all our friends and other families, feasting on the barbequed food was just the greatest enjoyment of all......

........At one point during this holiday I would ask my dad if I could borrow the family car to drive around and survey the surrounding area with some of my friends.......My dad had agreed to this request as my juniors drivers license had already taken affect.......Off we went slowly through the dirt roads of this by-gone era and came to a road where it climbed a sharp and steep hill that would go about eight feet high in a matter of seconds........I stopped the car at the base of the hill and exited the drivers side so I could climb the hill and view what was on top of it while my friends waited in the vehicle......As I approached the top, all looked fine and I saw no reason not to attempt this climb so back to the drivers side I entered......Gunning the gas we climbed without any hesitation by the vehicle and reached the top without any problems......I did not, however, realize that after reaching the top that on the other side, probably by erosion from the sea, ("Back to the Future" had 'Sandy the hurricane' of 2012 reached this area in 1952 before I did..? ) the road would suddenly drop down the eight feet we had climbed up only this time without a road under us.......When the front end of the car reached the bottom of this non-existing road I was able to apply the brakes and stop the further proceeding.......Again I exited the drivers side to view our predicament......While the front end of the vehicle was on the continued dirt road at the bottom of this hill, the underside of the car and the back wheels were not in contact with anything, but it appeared that the back end was hung up to the top of this hill........I was starting to perspire emensely as I envisioned our becoming stuck in this position forever.....There was also some liquid leaking from the under carriage of the vehicle.....Now I really started to worry....What had I done to this wonderful family car that my dad had so generously allowed me to use that day........

..........I viewed the surrounding area and noticed some fishermen down at the waters edge fishing in the sea........With them they also had their jeep which is a much better vehicle at climbing hills than a '49 Chevy........I had to make a decision.....Do I go locate a tow truck to tow us out of this location or do I try to continue down this road where the power [the back wheels] were not touching the ground.......And what about the leak from under the carriage of the car ? would I do more harm to the car by continuing down the slippery slope?

What if I did continue down the road.....Would I find a way out of this beach area or would I be stuck here forever, never to later get married and have the wonderful wife and family that I now have....The pressure was starting to get to me.......I had to make a decision.......Click clock the time was ticking away........I had to make a decision......Suddenly and without warning the car was starting to slip down the slope without my commanding it to do so......Obviously the brakes could not hold the weight of the car and apparently had a mind of it's own.......When the '49 chevy settled into its' final position at the bottom of this hill the first thing I checked was inside the trunk.....The ice pail that my dad had the cold drinks in had turned over from this wild ride and the liquid leaking from the under carriage was coming from the melting ice water in the pail........I got back into the car, started the motor and was able to get the auto out of it's predicament.........I drove the car down to the beach area to where the fishermen were and they directed me to the exit and open road down at another end of the beach..........We drove back to the festival and I never mentioned this story to anyone before this recording.........In 1955 I would later make this all up to my dad by presenting him with the car as we all know that it became and looked like.......My dad loved it....He should only be here to read this story now...........But knowing my dad, he was a kind and generous man and would only give me one of his looks, shake his head and that would be the end of it..........Nick....7/3/2011

Note: Above this chapter are photos of my dads 1950 ice truck, my parents "summer home" in Oyster Bay NY [see comments below concerning this summer home] and the pre - customized '49 chev as it looked before being customized and later in years after it was customized and re-sprayed in my dads garage in 1955...Also to view a larger image click on each picture to enlarge the photo......... This enlargement technique, somehow, will only work on the last three photos of the five that are shown above......


Video and audio clips


These were tuff years as explained by Perry Como with this rendition of "its Impossible"......


~ Those were the Days, but than again who knows as the '20s are just around the corner again ~



Related

Profile of nickmon4321
More Cars of the 1950s
More GMC Coverage

102 car nuts gave this a thumbs-up. Do you? Thumbs-up


Comments

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: John To: nick

Sent: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 7:53 pm

Nick, had a root canal process today and these pictures made me think of those wonderful days. It was just what I needed Your the greatest Sure wish I was close by, I know we would have some laughs....John

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: John

Sent: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:59 pm

.........my roots are in ny and your roots are in california.....[just trying to make some funny].... hope every thing turns out well......i agree with you, we would have some laughs.......nick

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: John To: nick

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 4:12 am

See I was correct We just love to clown around Very FuNNNNNNNNNNNNNNy PS For the record my roots will always be in New York. GO YANKEES

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: DINA To: Nick

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 5:11 am

I saved the picture of you as my screensaver on my computer at work!

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: dina

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 8:04 am

.........thank you dina.....that is a very kind gesture for you to do for me.......i feel honored to be there.......dad

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Lee To: nick

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 7:58 am

Nick, what a wonderful son you were. I am sure your parents knew that too. Lee

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: lee

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 8:24 am

...thank you lee...really appreciate that thought....your very kind.........nick

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Lee To: nick

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 8:03 am

Subject: Fwd: FW: "LITTLE RICHARD" AS A CHILD MOVIE STAR! and also staring van johnson................

http://www.wimp.com/oldschool/

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

Original Message ----- From: "<nick To: lee

Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 9:35 AM Subject: Re: "LITTLE RICHARD" AS A CHILD MOVIE STAR!

thanks lee, great video and amazing kid that "little richard"...........nick

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Roseann To: nick

Sent: Thu, Jul 7, 2011 9:55 pm Subject: Re: "LITTLE RICHARD" AS A CHILD MOVIE STAR!

What a cute kid he was and what talent. He wasn't bad looking when he was young, but then he started with the makeup and the crazy hair, but I still liked him. I wonder what that movie was with Van Johnson, and I wish I could remember the name of the other actor in that scene.

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

----- Original Message ----- From: "<nick To: roseann

Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 5:38 AM Subject: Re: "LITTLE RICHARD" AS A CHILD MOVIE STAR!

roseann....i too could not remember his name but i googled and found the following: keenan wynn 1916-1986 character actor.....son of edwin wynn [born isaiah edwin leopold 1886-1966] comedian and actor.......the movie with van johnson was a 1946 film called, "no leave, no love"...........this i did not have to google.....when my dad retired from the ice business he went into real estate and much later in life he took a job as door man with a 5th ave building facing central park......the residence of actor van johnson and also actress constance bennet [spelling]......one christmas eve van johnson gave my dad a bottle of scotch as a christmas gift.....my dad not being a scotch drinker saved the bottle and gave it to me later in life........i would open it and share it with neighbors or friends after moving to staten island.......can't remember who liz and i shared it with but could it have been you roseann and john?.....i'll have to ask liz to pick her memory brain.............nick....7/8/2011

i recently discussed the bottle of scotch with liz and like me her memory presently only goes back to my dad, van johnson and the scotch gift, so who we drank this bottle with will remain a mystery........nick....7/12/2011

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Roseann To: nick

Sent: Sat, Jul 9, 2011 12:24 am Subject: Re: "LITTLE RICHARD" AS A CHILD MOVIE STAR!

Even your father met famous people. It runs in your family. John might have shared that scotch with you, but I am a vodka drinker

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: donna; dina; markyvh; lizmon; roseann; dbruno4 <dora; lee; eric; john; riesangela; vito; Sent: Mon, Jul 11, 2011 4:13 pm

........thanks roseann......with a tear in my eye, your searched and found video has been added to the "1950/1955 iceman cometh" autobiography story.......... this "italian american contribution" film was also a good contender for the "sam the vegetable man" autobiography as it discuss' and showed the horse and vegetable wagon in it.....the horse and wagon in this film was much smaller than sam's horse and wagon but puts forth the general idea..... thanks again...........

i have also added a photo of my parents "summer home" in bayville oyster bay, long island where, over the hill and years earlier lived President Teddy Roosevelt; to further honor and memorilize their progress in those hard but welcomed years......this autobiography all started with a 17 year old boy/man [my dad] from the little village of bari, italy and the thousands of other people of many nationalities that would follow, and also came before him, to this great country that would become known as the "melting pot"........

but wow dad!!!.... not bad for an iceman!!!.....first you may have known al capone in chicago [i seriously doubt that, as you were an honest and dedicated family man]......but than you knew better to move from chicago and live on the same 88th street nyc neighborhood as where all the nyc mayors lived, at gracie mansion, and including the marx brothers on 93rd street.......and finally you lived within a "hop, skip, and a jump" of one of the most famous presidents of the USA, President Teddy Roosevelt.......on top of all of this, you also knew van johnson who rewarded you with thanks and a precious gift on christmas eve......so i repeat, "not bad for an iceman".........god bless you mom and dad...RIP...love you both........your son nick......7/10/2011

please click the following two links for the additional facts as shown:

YouTube - ?Our Contributions: The Italians in America?? -- "italian american contribution"

http://www.rosebrickyards.com/pennsylvania%20n-z/index.htm -- four saved Pa bricks, in my staten island back yard from bayville summer home driveway

also please go to the very top of this email to view my parents "summer home" in bayville, oyster bay, long island from 1961 to 1968

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Angela To: <nick

Sent: Mon, Jul 11, 2011 4:52 pm

Not to be a pain in the neck but dad worked at sutton place which I believe was in downtown manhatten near the 59th st. bridge.,He was in the subway waiting for the train when he was mugged one night. Somone hit him in the head and knocked him out and took his wallet. And that's when mom said enough and he quit

AND he was 14 years old when he came to America with his brother Frank who was only a few years older then him. When he was 28 he went back to Italy to look for a wife and that's when he saw mom. Ask who she was , got introduced and 1 month later they got married. Went to Rome for a honeymoon and brought his new bride Rose back to America with him. She threw up all the way here and curse him all the way. The boat ride was very rocky in those days. your pain in the a** sister angie

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

angie.....as bob hope would say/sing, "thanks for the memories"..........see you at the wedding........brother nick...... 7/13/2011

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Donna To: <nick Sent: Mon, Jul 11, 2011 8:20 pm

Wow dad, that video about Italian Americans was pretty unbelievable, stopped me dead in my tracks for a moment. How accurate and very true every bit of it was...

Thanks for sharing that piece of history with me :)

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

donna.....i have to agree with you.........dad ..........7/13/2011

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: Roseann To: nick

Sent: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 2:41 am

That video brought back so many memories for me, especially of my grandmother. She lived with my aunt two floors below the apartment I lived in, and every Sunday I would watch her make all the macaroni for the week. Thin thin noodles, fettucine, and lasagna. You know Nick I still cook like that. Every Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend, all the kids and grandkids come over, and we make ravioli. This last year we made over 700. It is a big assembly line. Everyone works even the grandkids. Bob who was an Americana when I married him, is no longer one. He is Italian by osmosis. Right now my backyard is full of tomatoes, and while I am at work, Bob (the ex-Americana) will cook down a batch of them for me, and strain them, and add lots of basil, and when it cools down, we will freeze it. We make the tomatoes for our gravy all winter long. Wow what a beautiful summer home you had. It is huge. You also jokingly said your father knew Al Capone, well there were many mafioso in our neighborhood in the Bronx. I would be walking down the street, and my father would greet men who would hand me a $5 bill. That was a lot of money in the 40's. Also when my father was younger and lived I believe on 149th Street, he witnessed a mafia shooting while in a bowling alley. I guess bullets were flying everywhere, and my father's best friend got in the way of one of them. Fortunately he was not killed. My mother who was not Italian (she was Polish) would always say "us Italians." She too became Italian and was a better Italian cook than my Italian aunts. She learned from my grandmother, and I in turn learned from my mother. This week I am making a big batch of baked ziti for Japanese friends who own a sushi restaurant and love Italian food. I really wish my children could have experienced our life back then. The older I get, the more sentimental I get about those days.

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

roseann........sounds like an italian family...........thanks for the video.......nick.......7/13/2011

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: DINA To: Nick Sent: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 5:50 am

I looked at the picture of the house closely....there are two people standing in front a man and a woman, but they both look dark. i dont think the man is black, i just think because its a black n white photo the faces look dark. the lady looks dark also

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

To: dina From: nick Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:08:58 -0400

thanks dina...... i'll send you mark della bayville house picture which is 10 times larger than the one your looking at and the comments made about them [the two people].....i'm very surprised you were able to find them in the smaller photo....you have a sharp eye, dina.........dad

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: DINA To: Nick

Sent: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 6:37 am

The picture i was looking at was the big one from mark....i still think its a white lady and white man, but because its black n white and the quality isnt the best they both appear to be darker than what they really are

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: dina

Sent: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 6:56 am

thanks dina........that is a possibility.........dad

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: kim_ Sent: Wed, Dec 28, 2011 4:52 pm

kim.......you may get a kick out of this segment as it generated many comments

that i have left in and unedited for your viewing.......

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: <nick To: itsmeme Sent: Sun, Mar 18, 2012 8:06 am

maryellen.......or maybe i just might become an iceman again when the world comes to an end in december 2012 and the icebox becomes the "in thing" and vogue one more time. [joking]....nick ((:0)>

ps.......incidentally in 1991 just before i retired from met i had the opportunity to meet and speak with crazy robin williams on 24th street where he and jeff bridges were making the film "the fisher king"....the street was blocked off to the public but since we worked at met we had access to 24th street......he is a sweet and funny guy even in real life......also had a bottle of scotch from van johnson, [remember him] see story below in the comments.........

[Reply to this comment]

nickmon4321 on Nov 30, 2012 said:

-----Original Message----- From: itsmeme To: nick Sent: Sun, Mar 18, 2012 1:29 pm

Wow this is wonderful. I also worked at Met after school, my last two years of High School. I worked in the death department, and had no idea why I was there. I had no official job, just odds and ends, and the old men as I thought of them loves to tease me and try to throw paper clips at me, I was too dumb at the time to realize they were trying to throw them at my chest, which wasn't much and my necklines were to high. After graduation I worked in the diamond district as a bookkeeper, until I got married and moved to XXXXXX and went to work for XXXXXXXXX.

[Reply to this comment]


[Login] or


Direct link: