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YOU KNOW YOU'RE OLD WHEN... by Rose-Mary Rumbley


You know you're old when you remember your first Popsicle! I bet it was a hot day. I lived when there was no air conditioning, and a Popsicle was the only relief from the heat. You boomers had air conditioning, but it was still hot outside and an icy treat was always perfect way of cooling off!

The story of the Popsicle starts with a happy accident.

In 1905, 11 year old Frank Epperson in San Francisco was mixing a syrupy drink. For some reason he left it outside and the temperature dropped below freezing that night and the mixture froze around the stick he had been using to mix it. In the morning he licked the frozen treat off the stick and decided it was pretty good. He called it an Epsicle, and a new business came to be.

He sold this treat around the neighborhood and at local gatherings.

Later, in 1923, he saw a greater future for this treat on a stick. One didn't need a plate, spoon, fork--nothing to enjoy a great desert! Thus, he acquired a patent for his creation. By this time he was grown with children, who loved and enjoyed his Epsicle, except, because he was "Pop," they called it a Popsicle!

Unfortunately, Epperson fell on hard times and sold his patent and rights to the Joe Lowe Company, in New York. Joe Lowe launched Popsicle nationally, where it faced competition with other frozen treats on sticks--ice cream bars. There was a law suit with Good Humor who made ice cream bars. The legal tussle ended with the companies making a distinction between the two treats. One was ice cream and the other was icy syrup.

During the depression the popsicle was sold with two sticks. One could share the treat. This was discontinued in 1986. However, thanks to the pop star, Justin Bieber's public plea, Popsicle brought back the two sticks in the summer of 2019.

D Magazine featured the treat on a stick in a recent issue, TOP OF THE POPS. There are six Mexican "paleterias." There, is PALETA MIA, on Buckner Boulevard, where they offer a pop made with chocolate dipped bananas. Then at PICOLE, on West Davis, one can enjoy strawberry cheesecake on a stick! Try a treat at ENCANTO POPS, also on West Davis. They feature a roasted banana with a touch of yogurt. There is a freezer full of popsicles in tropical flavors at PALETERIA SAN MARCOS in Farmers Branch. Watch out for pushcart and bicycle vendors at the door of PALETERIA LA MEXICANA on Jefferson Blvd. There one can find some unique frozen bars flavored with cinnamon, strawberry, and cucumber. 'HA PALETERIA in Plano offers all the classic Popsicles along with lesser known flavors--avocado and mango.

Now, TEXAS HIGHWAYS MAGAZINE tells their readers to drive up to Denton where they will discover THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE GNOME, a popular place where the popsicle is shaped in a point like a gnome's hat.

TEXAS MONTHLY suggests we all go to Fort Worth where at ALMA'S PALETERIA we can all enjoy a rich vanilla or chocolate paleta. Or if you care to go to San Antonia there is PALETERIA LA FLOR DE MICHOACAN. There you can enjoy a multitude of flavors, one being creamy guanabama! If you are ready for a big trip--go to Santa Fe. NEW MEXICO MAGAINE tells of OASIS ICE CREAM SHOP which offers the ultimate "flavor trip"--strawberry, mango, kiwi. Popsicles are everywhere!

There you have it--the story of the greatest treat on a stick! And it all started in the back yard of a kid who left his syrup mixture outside!

Wonderful things happen when someone has an idea. I think of CELEBRATION MAGAZINE! When Debra Saxon was the activities director at Preston Place, she invited me to speak to the residents there. By the way, she invited my husband to entertain as well. She loved us both. It was a family affair. It was then she told me she was going to create a magazine for seniors and I would write a column.

Well, it all happened! And Debra graciously put me on the cover of the magazine twice! THANK YOU, DEBRA!

My next column just may be about the movie, COVER GIRL! Some of you just may remember that movie!


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