MUCH CHANGED, MUCH THE SAME
One of the ways milkmen have kept up with the times has been through product diversity. Crescent Ridge dairy, for instance, has expanded from offering only milk, butter, eggs, bread, cream, and ice cream to include fruit juices, cheese, margarine, lemonade, egg nog, cookies, soda, yogurt, ice cream pies, ice cream toppings - even laundry detergent. ``Others went out of business because they didn't make changes,'' says Dave Barberie, route manager for Crescent Ridge. ``Milk trucks are becoming rolling supermarkets.''
Milk has changed, too. Skim and lowfat milk have become the super-products of late. Years ago, ``we never did skim milk,'' says plant manager Bill Ryan, who's been in the dairy business since 1958. ``We used to give it to the pigs.''
Curly's dairy in Salem, Ore., offers frozen foods such as popsicles and burritos along with its dairy products. ``You've got to diversify a bit,'' says Kirk Huffstetter, Curly's retail sales manager.
But some things never change: Milkmen still have to contend with dogs. Mr. Huffstetter recalls his first delivery when ``some lady's dog decided to chomp on my knee.''
``There are two or three I have to watch,'' says Frank Coffey, a milkman with Crescent Ridge. Otherwise, it's OK ``as long as their tails are waggin'.''
Then there's the weather.
``The blizzard [of 1978], I think, was the only time we didn't deliver,'' says Mr. Coffey. And ``people wanted to know why we weren't around!''