My favorite summer sound is a primordial scream. It happens almost every day in my neighborhood. Children no taller than my waist rush up to jets of water, anoint themselves with an ice-cold splash, and let the world know about it with a piercing shout. Inside my home, that might drive me crazy. Outside, in the sprinkle park kitty-cornered to the house, I smile at the sound of pure joy.
There’s another summer sound I’m not hearing. It’s the jingle of the ice cream truck, which doesn’t come around here anymore. Recent articles suggest the entire industry faces an uncertain future, what with rising prices for diesel fuel, ice cream, even sprinkles. Which brings me to Aurora, Colorado.
For 65 years, the fast-growing Denver suburb banned ice cream trucks as a public nuisance. Then City Council member Dustin Zvonek, who had recently formed an ad hoc committee to reduce red tape, came across the decades-old ordinances banning the trucks and their noisemaking devices. And he began working to eliminate them.
The council voted unanimously to repeal the ordinances, and on July 2, just in time for the Fourth of July, the first ice cream truck began rolling on the streets of Aurora, attracting swarms of excited kids.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of those truck jingles, which repeat over and over. But when mixed with the sound of splashing water on asphalt and tyke-sized shouts of glee, who wouldn’t scream for ice cream?