A journalist observes life in the far north.
My brother treated my niece Andrea and I to ice cream on my last night in Milwaukee. This is an eating town. I think I would weigh 300 pounds if I lived here. Family-owned restaurants with excellent food sit on just about every corner. Martino’s, where you can have a Chicago dog, mostacolli or a chicken salad sandwich, is my favorite. Many chain eateries, including Red Lobster and The Olive Garden, are within a few miles of my dad’s house.
The ice cream run was to Leon’s, which is to Milwaukee what Hot Licks is to Fairbanks. At least the lines gave me that impression. The place looks like one of those old fashioned hamburger joints where the waitress, on roller skates, serves you in your car. I had hoped that that was the case when we pulled up because Lucky was irritable, and I wanted to leave her in her car seat. Thankfully, Andrea volunteered to hold her while we waited in line.
At Leon’s, ice cream is not ice cream. It’s frozen custard. These huge ice cream makers poop it out like tooth paste from the tube. I had the Super Sundae with butter pecan “custard” and hot fudge, topped with pecans. Andrea had the banana split, which was half melted by the time we got back to dads. They gave us our treats in a cardboard box the size of a shoe box, which Andrea held in her lap. As we were pulling out, a young black fellow handed me a CD. Andrea and I listened to the first song, which was rap. I think it was titled “I’m a Cheater.” The rapping sounded kind of nasally.
My other big adventure today was taking Lucky to the doctor. She awoke this morning with goo that had sealed shut her left eye. Pink eye. The doctor charged me $75 to glance at her for three seconds, write a prescription for eye drops and chit chat with me about Alaska.
Dad offered to take us on the boat today but I decided to keep things mellow for the baby. That’s my excuse, anyway. I’m not sure the baby cares one way or the other. I needed a down day.