Friday, March 9, 2012

mazes and ice cream

Some of my earliest memories with my dad are made of drawing and coloring books. He taught me how to shade. He drew elaborate mazes for me and my brother and sister to solve. He was very busy at work while I was growing up--but that didn't deter him from being creative.

He was an ice cream maker (a long-time family business), and had to be creative with flavors. He once devised a way to infuse carbonation into ice cream with Pepsi and Mountain Dew flavors. He sold crazy flavors like dill pickle and even prune (which was named, "Gentle Persuasion"). A great seller, though, was Frozen Explosion, which was a colorful ice cream with Pop Rocks candy throughout that exploded in your mouth.

A couple years ago, after a long-time desire to carve an ice cream cone out of wood, his dream came true. An employee had a big stump to get rid of, and my dad jumped at the opportunity. Imagine my mom's surprise when she came home one day to find a giant stump dropped off at the end of the driveway! That winter, he educated himself on the art, borrowed and bought some tools, and started cutting away like Edward Scissorhands (or so I imagined him). The neighbors even noticed. Finally, it was finished, and they shipped it to Atz's Ice Cream Shoppe on North Anthony Blvd. in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where you can go see it today.

It's fun to see him drawing, coloring, and making mazes with my children now. Last night my kids and I came to visit my parents for a couple of nights. He looked at me with that "idea" look of his, and told me he had some cardboard boxes he wanted to bring home to make a huge, walk-through maze for the kids.

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