Richard Green: Memories of Calvin Ice Cream Co.
Tearing down the old Ice Cream factory on Prospect in Northampton. CAROL LOLLIS Purchase photo reprints »
As I drove down Prospect Street on July 2, I saw a crew demolishing the old Calvin Ice Cream Co. I was hit with a huge bolt of nostalgia. Back in the late ’70s (1976-79) I was lucky enough to be a co-owner. Calvin was a local and somewhat regional icon.
We made all of our products fresh three times a week, from our great ice creams to popsicles and ice-cream cakes, my mother-in-law’s specialty. Also our famous brownie sandwiches and last but not least “vanilla” fudgesicles.
To this day people will come up to me and reminisce about those vanilla fudgesicles. I guess it brings them back to a happier time; people never could get enough of them.
Northampton was starting its rebirth and part of it was Bart’s Ice Cream. We were lucky enough to be a big part of helping them get started and off the ground. We were a big part of the community and sponsored ice cream eating contests, the local Polish Radio Hour on Sundays and were a big presence at the Three County Fair during race week.
I remember we had an indoor sandbox for our kids so we could spend some time with them while worked 100-plus hours a week.
I learned a lot about people and how community works to help you succeed. When the temperature would get around 90, the Daily Hampshire Gazette would stop by and do the obligatory piece about the heat and about our “cool” ice cream company. It was great.
So with a tear in my eye, I said goodbye and headed off to get some ice cream. For some reason that’s all I could think about.
Richard K. Greene lives in Leeds.