Standing at the counter waiting for our order of cold deliciousness to be handed over, I was quietly transported back in time. I distinctly heard my friend, Nancy, call my name. “Would you like to go? My mom said I can only pick one person to come with.” said Nancy. Out of all the kids in our 4th grade class…..I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…..excitement bubbled up inside me and… I quickly answered yes.
“Yes, oh yes! Thank you so much for inviting me Nancy. I can hardly wait. It will be so much fun.” I replied. After school that day I ran as fast as I could home. I burst through the backdoor into the kitchen shouting, “Mom, Mom! Guess what? Nancy chose me . She chose me to go with and celebrate her birthday. We are going to see a play….I paused and took a deep breathe…. and then we’re going out for ice cream.
We were going to the Drury Lane/Martinique Theatre to see a children’s play in the round and afterward to The Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor. Although both places are long gone, the impression they left on me still remains. I can still picture them vividly in my mind.The theatre was magnificent. However, its marble floors, sweeping spiral staircase, crystal chandelier, and luxurious red cushioned seats were still no competition, in my opinion, to The Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor.
As a little girl I loved the color purple, so naturally I was excited to go there. A huge purple cow statue stood outside the parlor and greeted both young and old alike. As you walked through the front door your eyes were overwhelmed by the amount of purple that existed in that little south-side parlor. It made you feel warm and giddy inside. There were antique bistro tables and chairs painted white with purple seats. The floor was covered in a checkered pattern of white and purple tiles. Floats of all kinds were served in the prettiest, sparkly, purple glasses. Even the sugar on the table used for coffee was purple. Antique penny arcade machines, an old player piano and a victrola added to its overall charm. When it came time to order, I had a Purple Cow Float. It was pure heaven! Vanilla ice-cream floating in a sea of purple soda topped with whipping cream, purple sprinkles, and a Salerno butter cookie in a tall, sparkly, purple glass. It tasted wonderful.
“Excuse me, miss. Here’s your order.” said the young man behind the ice cream counter. Jarred back to the present I said “Ah….yes. Thank you!” as he handed me a double scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream in a sugar cone. I handed my daughter her cone and we went outside The Plush Horse Ice Cream Parlor to eat our cones before they started to melt on one of the last beautiful summer evenings this year.