Ice Cream Cone: A Double Dip for a Nickel


Posted by Kathy Waller



My letter for the April A to Z Challenge is I. What else could it be but ice cream?


I wrote the following poem to the memory of W. F. “Dick” Ward, who operated an ice cream parlor on the Main Street of Fentress, Texas, and who for nearly seventy years sold great big double-dipped ice cream cones to children of all ages. For all those years, the price remained the same: one nickel. The ice cream didn’t get better, said Dick, so why should the price go up?

We loved him.


W. F. Ward, Confectioner, 1958


Vanilla ice cream cone I bought at Camp Manito...
Vanilla ice cream cone I bought at Camp Manitou-Lin for a $1 donation. I was sort of icey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia). By Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Out on the porch it’s August,

But it’s cool inside and dim, one bulb suspending from a cord.

A slim brunette holding a bottle of Royal Crown Cola

Smiles down from above the mirror.

In the back, where it’s dark and you’ve never been,

Sit two small, dusty tables and four delicate chairs.

Once, flappers and their beaus

Sipped sodas and flirted there

But now they’re ghosts.

Behind the marble counter stands Dick Ward,

Eighty years old to your seven, and deaf, and wiry as the chairs,

Blue eyes dancing.

Chocolate, please,” you say.

He leans down, tilts his head.


You stand on tiptoe, breathe deep, shout.


Of course, it’s just a game, because

He knew before you asked.

He dives down, disappears into the marble, rises with a cone,

Huge, double-dipped,

And holds it out.

You hand him your nickel.

Thank you.”

As you turn to leave, Mr. Perry shuffles in.

Bugler!” he rasps,

And as Dick reaches for the tobacco

You know that’s wrong,

Because your grandfather smokes Bull Durham,

And anyway,

How could anyone pass up chocolate?


“W. F. Ward, Confectioner, 1958″ first appeared in the 2008 issue of True Words Anthology, a publication of Story Circle Network.


Kathy blogs at To Write Is to Write Is to Write and at Austin Mystery Writers. Two of her short stories will appear in Austin Mystery Writers’ anthology MURDER ON WHEELS, coming soon from Wildside Press.



11 thoughts on “Ice Cream Cone: A Double Dip for a Nickel

  1. Your poem makes me want to lick into an ice cream, right now, but I have to say that chocolate ice isn’t my favourite. A vanilla ice with a Cadbury’s chocolate flake…now that is something worth having! 🙂 Keeping prices at a nickel so long must have been disastrous to Mr Ward’s business but such a thoughtful community gesture. A lovely man, Kathy, and a fitting tribute that you name him here.


  2. Sweet, ans a nice tribute. My dad smoked Buglar for awhile. Yay, you got the links and the blog car photo both on your blog. I love ice cream. When I was a kid we qwnt to a little general store and I got Cherry Nut Ice Cream, and it’s still my favorite. I usually eat frozen yogurt now, but every once in awhile I get Cherry Nut ice cream. remember the TV jingle? You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. Fun. Thanks Cher’ley


  3. Great poem, great man. Nickel for a huge ice cream cone… yep, definitely a great man. As a kid in Rialto, California, always looked forward to the weekend trip to the Dairy Queen. When I was a technical writer, about 10 years ago tried Blue Bell ice cream for the first time — got it at a supermarket in Savannah. Now I see that Blue Bell’s in trouble with a contaminated manufacturing plant. Sadly, I’ll probably never buy it again.


  4. The memories in your words, so lifelike. I felt like I was there. Thank you, and thank you for letting us know about this amazing man. Doris


  5. Kathy, thank you for blessing us with such a wonderful tribute to a man who must have been loved by all. I confess, if I’d gotten the letter “I” I would have written about ice cream too. My favorite is Butter Pecan if I’m having a cone, but in a bowl it has to be slathered in Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (my dad’s favorite!)


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