When you’re the son of a milkman these stories hit home. In the 1960s and 70s my dad combined the dolci (sweet) formulas for Dairy Queen and McDonalds out of the Mitchell Dairy in Bridgeport and then Borden’s in Stratford. He knew every fat content of every soft serve/ice cream in the region, working out of the ice box, a smidgen above freezing. Cold? Oh my.
When his boss told him produce more to meet the demand or it’s your job, he’d bring me in to help during the summer. I complained about being there. My father never complained. No matter what, no matter the bone-chilling cold, it’s food on the table.
In his entire working life my father never reached $10 per hour, even working into the 1980s. But he shared knowledge.
Italians make Gelato, he’d say, we mix more milk than cream. He schooled me: Gelato has less fat than ice cream. Thus, he said, Dairy Queen’s soft serve isn’t technically ice cream. Yes, but it goes down so smooth. Why so good, dad?
“Izza abouta processa,” (process) he’d say, a Sicilian immigrant who had no formal education, no high school diploma, didn’t know anyone in the country except for a bookie uncle in Manhattan, who jumped aboard the passenger ship Andrea Doria, New York-bound for a better way of life, joining an American woman he married in Sicily in an arranged marriage to be legal in the United States.
In Trump’s immigration world my father would be illegal.
So what began as local interest has gone national for OIB friend Doug Wade (yes, his handle is Milkman on OIB). Doug Wade zoomed back to his family roots to provide for his employees and consumers, reintroducing home delivery.
There’s nothing like hearing “Athena Jones, CNN, Bridgeport, CT.”