Another great childhood memory... (man, I love this thread!)... My mom would do her grocery shopping every Saturday morning, and of course she dragged me along. Sometimes, if she was feeling generous (or if I had behaved myself in the stores), she would buy me lunch at Phil's, which was one of those hot dog joints that were scattered all over the city. The place was tiny... on one side was the hot dog counter and cash register, and on the opposite wall there was a counter that ran all along the wall from front door to the back wall where you could stand and eat (no seating in the place!). This place sold just hot dogs, fries, and Cokes. No burgers, no beefs... just dogs. In case any of you are unfamiliar with a "Chicago-style" hot dog, this is what I'm talking about:
No ketchup on a Chicago dog. Ever! Ketchup was for the fries! Anyway, Phil was a master hot dog builder. He would grab a steamed bun, flip open the lid on the hot dog container and pluck one out and slam it onto the bun... slam the hot dog lid shut... whip open the mustard lid... spoon the mustard on the dog, slam the lid shut... whip open the relish lid, spoon on the relish, slam the lid shut... whip open the onion lid, spoon on the onions, slam the lid shut, etc. You get the idea. He would start at the beginning of the counter (the buns) and work his way down through all the ingredients so fast, it was amazing! He could build a Chicago dog in like 10 seconds start to finish! Obviously he didn't have to go that fast... I think he just liked to show off! Man, those hot dogs were so freakin' good! Getting one of those hot dogs and fries for lunch made my mom's whole "drag me from one store to the next store" Saturday morning ritual worth it!
Around here we had the Good Humor truck, but also a lot of generic independent guys, too. My favorites were the banana-flavored popsicles, the Heath bars with the crunchies on them, and the push-up orange thingie (in a round tube with the stick)... don't remember what they were called.
I also remember the scissors/knife man, the junk man, and even the fruit man... they all came by regularly, all used horse-drawn wagons as they went through the alleys. And it's not like I grew up in the 1920s or something...yes, this was being done where I lived in Chicago well into the mid to late 60s. I can still remember the fruit man saying in his loud voice, "Freestone peaches! Four pounds, one dollar!" as he slowly went down the alley. Another cool childhood memory.
Ok, not exactly lost words from our childhood... but do any of you guys remember S&H "Green Stamps?" Grocery stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets used to give them out–the number of stamps depending on the dollar amount you spent. You would collect them in albums, and they were redeemable for all sorts of things... the more stamps you had saved up, the more expensive "reward" you could claim. My mom was a Green Stamp collector... I remember helping her lick those stamps and placing them in the albums. Great childhood memory...