The Old Ice Box

The cute little old lady said she “got up to go to the icebox.” I realized that she and I were only two people in the room who had a clue what she was talking about. My mind went back to the days of my youth when as a three-year-old we lived in the old World War II barracks, on the second floor. Every day the Iceman came stumping and jingling up the stairs, with a huge block of ice hanging in the steel tongs, and he clunked the block into our icebox, on the left side compartment. The food that needed to be kept cold to prevent spoiling was kept in that ice box.

Sometime later I remember seeing my first refrigerator. It was at my grandma’s house. There I saw the wonder that science had produced. The name on the door was “cold spot.” It was a white porcelain cabinet about 5 feet high with a round “layer cake” of coils on top. It was colder inside than our icebox.

We still have an icebox in our house, though. It is now used as an extra storage cabinet. It hasn’t had a block of ice chunked in it for over fifty years, but it’s pretty and I’m glad it’s there. Who knows maybe one day the power will fail and will need to use it. No, I have no idea where we’d go to get a block of ice. With the type of winters we have in Texas we rarely see ice, much less thick ice. I guess we’d have to go back to the really old method of eating everything fresh, and then throwing out the leftovers for the hounds. Biggest problem we’d have if we didn’t have a fridge – where would we put all the pictures of family, and the grandkids artwork?

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