The Ice Cream Man in the Summer of Sam
In New York’s sultry summer of ’77, a whiskey-swilling old man befriends three latchkey kids with cartons of ice cream and haunting stories they’ll never forget.
Illustrations by Marc Pearson
He came shuffling down the sidewalk every afternoon that summer at 4:30, when the sun began to crest above the buildings, dousing the entire block in a blinding, ethereal light. He wore bright plaid shorts and a lime green bowling shirt; his hair cotton-white, puffed out in giant tufts from beneath an old Yankees cap that seemed permanently affixed to his head. Pulling a small red cooler that rattled and bumped behind him, he walked toward the front stoop, passing the windows of the old widow who sat knitting in her darkened living room and the tall, bald man whose legs were bloated and scabbed. He whistled and hummed songs from another time and another place until he arrived at the stoop and sat on the top step, parking his cooler to the left, beside the dead flowerbeds.
Now settled, he pulled out a silver flask that he carried in his front pocket and took a long, deep swig, setting it down between his feet. He lit a cigarette, a filterless Camel, made smo…
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