The Inside Scoop
In the truck with a Mister Softee veteran who's been melting hearts in Queens for 27 years.
It’s barely eleven a.m. on a sunny May morning in Astoria, Queens, and already somebody wants ice cream. Though he hasn’t actually reached the beginning of his route yet, Gus Elefantis, fifty-two, notices a little boy in a stroller eyeballing his approaching Mister Softee truck. The dad looks too, nodding at its driver. Elefantis, well over six-feet tall, big-bellied and bald, turns the wheel and applies the brakes. “I can’t say no to the kids,” he admits through a noticeable Greek accent, one that’s commonplace in the neighborhood. He didn’t even have to play the iconic Mister Softee jingle to score his first sale of the day: a small vanilla cup with rainbow sprinkles. Elefantis jokes with the kid’s father about how early it is. The dad couldn’t say no either. After a laugh and well wishes, Elefantis is back in the driver’s seat. Jolly, he says, “Off to a good start!”
Actually, Elefantis’s day started two hours earlier when he and his wife, Lola, forty-two, dro…
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