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Food for Thought: Those Red Gumball Eyes

Joined: 8/18/2014
Posts: 2
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Most people do not remember very much about their early childhood, and I am part of that majority. I remember snippets – sections of movies, flashes of vision, echoes of sounds – but more than anything, I remember the ice cream truck. The Old Man lived three streets away from me, a lonely person who everyone talked about but nobody knew. I was three when he bought a small white truck and started selling ice cream around the neighborhoods. I was not allowed to buy anything from him until I was five, though, because nobody liked the Old Man, including my parents.
The Old Man was a tall, slim, gray-haired, wrinkly old man. His skin looked coarse like leather, and his hair was always unkempt. Every afternoon of the summer one would be sitting in their living room or on their porch, and then the sound of ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ or ‘La Cucaracha’ would be heard from down the street. It would get closer and closer, and then the white ice cream truck would appear with the Old Man inside.
At the corner of my street he would be stopped daily by the numerous children that lived on my block. They would bombard his truck with shrieks and giggles and pour their parents’ money into his hands for ice cream – and what wonderful, fantastic things he handed them: ice cream bars of chocolate and vanilla and strawberry, and bars of all three, and popsicles flavored like every fruit one could imagine, and popsicles colored red, white, and blue, and popsicles the size of rulers and popsicles the size of pencils and, best of all, popsicles shaped and colored like characters from video games. I spent years convincing my parents to let me go buy ice cream from in, and then finally, one day, they let me. My father put three dollars in my hand and told me to hurry back.
I darted out of the house and to the ice cream man parked at the end of my street, and as I gazed over the options, my five-year-old eyes fell on a popsicle shaped like Mario from all of my Nintendo games. My little heart fluttered, and before I knew it, I was handing the Old Man my money and being handed a fresh-looking, beautiful, ornate Mario popsicle. I was filled with satisfaction as I studied the popsicle intensely, jubilating over all of the minute details that made this popsicle worth the two dollars I paid for it. And its eyes were the best of all: for in the sockets of this ice cream Mario sat two beautiful, enticing, fantastic red gumball eyes. I was ecstatic to say the least.
I am much older now, and the Old Man is dead. He was near seventy when he began, and he died some time ago. I have not heard the sound of that ice cream truck for many years, but I still remember those red gumball eyes.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Food for Thought essay being chosen as 1 of the 11 essays in the running for 1st place for our November 2014 teen writing competition. Be proud of your accomplishment. We had almost 200 essays submitted for November’s contest.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field.

We will post all winning essay results by December 31st. You can check this page for the results after December 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Friday, December 5, 2014 1:04:26 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Food for Thought essay being selected as one of our Teen Essay runners up for November 2014.

To view all the results of our November 2014 contest, please check our winners page on or after December 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:03:59 PM
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