Good Humor

“What flavor would you like?” asked the Good Humor man. “There are walnut whizzes, And dairy dizzies, Chocolate chips And strawberry splits.”

Children line up for their Good Humor bar

If these lines seem vaguely familiar to you, someone probably read the book “The Good Humor Man” to you as a child. If, like me, you can recite these lines from memory, you’ve read this story to your own children…or grandchildren…or nieces and nephews…or great-nieces and great-nephews. Let’s just say that I’ve read this book a lot.

With “The Good Humor Man” such an integral party of my literary life, I just had to visit the birthplace of Good Humor — Youngstown, Ohio. To anyone who has chased after an ice cream truck for a treat, this is kind of like coming to ice cream Mecca.

The Good Humor Man in his clean white uniform

It was here in 1920 that Harry Burt (great first name) came up with the idea of ice cream on a stick, ice cream trucks and the “ting-a-ling” of bells. While the Good Humor trucks are few and far between these days, you can still grab a Good Humor bar at your grocer’s freezer.

And as the Good Humor man drove off that afternoon he gave an extra-specially happy ting-a-ling a-ling on his bell.

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