Saturday morning was clear and a high blue sky. The weather had been hot and in a few weeks school would be starting. Dad said we were going to town to get me some new clothes for school. Climbing in the barn, swimming in the wheat had been rough on the clothes and they were showing the wear. Dad also said he had to get some parts at the implement store. Going to town was an adventure and a chance to see friends that lived in town.
After breakfast Dad rolled the pickup to the gas barrel and put gas in. He then backed over to the shed and loaded up a piece of machinery. He walked into the house and sat down drank a last cup of coffee asking me what I wanted. Soon we were on the road. I sat there nose glued to the window looking at all the houses as they whizzed past. We were going to town.
Once in town Dad stopped at the implement store and unloaded the piece of machinery, we then drove into downtown and main st. Here were the stores, dry goods, movie theater, drug store and hardware plus others. I jumped out of the pickup and we headed into the dry goods. Dad said hi to the clerk, they had known each other since high school. Dad explained we needed some school clothes. Down the side aisle we went and there were the clothes my size. It took some time for me to get fitted into my new clothes. As Dad was paying for my new school clothes he asked me you want an ice cream cone or a soda, surprised I looked at him for I wanted both. I looked at him, winced, squirmed and tongue tied. We headed out to the pickup and my heart began to sink.
The packages were stored behind the seat, Dad twirled around and looked at me, well have you figured out yet what you want, and I hung my head. Come on Dad told me and off we went for the drugstore. Through the door was the counter, there were high backed stools that spun around, a huge mirror with shelves holding all sizes of cups, glasses and bowls. My mouth began to water, there was a little kid on a picture there drinking a green river. It was panic time. Dad leaned over and said, “How about a root beer float.” I smiled and nodded yes.
The drugstore was a great place to set and look. As the soda jerk fixed my float, I looked at everything I could see from my perch. Over there was the girl stuff, perfume, make up and jewelry, there were notions, what that is, the aisle with the drugs and over there were the candies, milk duds, black cows, dots, big hunks, licorice………and on…… Then there was the counter. I would watch the soda jerk reach up and bring down a bowl, he would peel a banana and cut it in half, lay it in the bowl, scoop up ice cream and place it on the banana, three different flavors, then pour different syrups over the ice cream, sprinkle some nuts on it and cover it all with whip cream. Oh did it look good. There were milk shakes, sundaes and ice cream cones. Just to sit there and watch him make all the different things.
Dad looked at me and asked if I was ready yet, only half of the float was gone, soon we had to leave. Dad said he had to get something and that I should set here and finish my float while he went and got what he wanted. I slowly sipped on my float all the time my eyes were wandering around the store. By the time dad got back I had almost finished the float. With a long handled spoon Dad dipped into my float and got a small piece of ice cream. “Good stuff,” he said, “But we have to be leaving, I have to pick up the machine I left and then get home before supper time.”
I slurped up the last slurps, glanced around and said good bye to the soda fountain.