This Jersey Shore Tradition is Still Alive — In Some Places
As a kid, you may remember guys lugging heavy freezer trunks full of ice cream and yelling out for customers. In Wildwood and other towns, the common cry was, "ice cream, fudgie wudgie, who'll have an ice cream!"
You don't hear that on beaches in New Jersey these days but the guys are still out there, at least in some places.
On Absecon Island — which is home to Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport — the topic of allowing the beach sales of ice cream and who will be permitted to do it seems to pop up every few years.
Ventnor contracts with a veteran's group that sends guys out to sell ice cream, up and down the beach.
The subject came up again this spring in Ventnor City council meetings, due to the disparity in what that city brings in tax revenue from ice cream sales compared to the neighboring towns.
In neighboring Atlantic City, right over the border from Ventnor, the guys continue to hawk the sweet summer treat, but now the ice chest is hauled on big plastic beach wheels in a cart.
You can see the condensation billowing out of the chest from the dry ice inside that keeps the ice cream frozen. We used to ask the guys for a small chunk to put in a bucket of water to watch it bubble and steam.
Some towns only allow trucks to pull up to the beach at the end of the block and ring their bells to alert beachgoers that he's there.
But there's something special about having the vendor walk past your blanket and you can flag him down right there. This past Sunday in A.C., one of the longtime regular vendors called "Bird Man" was having a pretty good day and nobody seemed to care about his license or what vendor group he is affiliated with.
They were just happy that ice cream pulled right up to their spot on the beach.