Friday, July 14, 2017

The Big Chill II

In this stretch of hot weather we've been having, it's good to see that the Columbia Democratic Club had an ice cream social. Did you know that the first ice cream social in the United States was held in Maryland?

For me the term "Ice Cream Social" brings to mind Meredith Willson's "Music Man" and a small town in Iowa in the early years of the twentieth century. No television, no internet. (Even the thought of a pool hall for recreation was threatening.) You had to make your own fun. That might mean putting on a show in honor of a national holiday, county fairs, recitations of famous historical speeches, or forming a community band.

Columbia, Maryland is a small town in comparison to the great cities of the world. I've seen it described as a suburban backwater. But we're hardly River City, Iowa. These days we post on Facebook, Tweet, belong to numerous online groups and circulate petitions and requests for donations completely electronically. Why on earth, in the heat and humidity of the Maryland summer, would anyone want to leave the comfort of their air conditioned home to attend a meeting of a political group?

Ice cream. It still has that magic pull during the summer. Like a fireplace in the room during a winter party, it draws people who might not ordinarily get together. In other words, before there was social media, there was social ice cream. We may be more technologically advanced these days but we still need human interaction. And we are often so distracted that we just may need the lure of ice cream to remind us to connect.

I must say I am a bit disappointed by the lack to transparency surrounding this particular ice cream event. Nowhere has anyone shared the kind of information that we, as community members, want to know.

  • What kind of ice cream was served: brands? flavors?
  • Were there any toppings?
  • Reddi-whip or Cool Whip?
  • Any dairy-free alternatives?
  • Did anyone have seconds?
I think I learned from a Facebook quiz that what kind of ice cream you like is a strong indicator of your personality type, so this is clearly information we need to know. In the interests of transparency, my personal favorite ice cream flavors are two retired Baskin Robbins flavors from the 1970's: English Toffee and Watermelon Ice. What does that say about me, I wonder?

What's your favorite icy summer treat? And, would it take ice cream to convince you to go to a summer meeting?

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