LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Miami, Florida

4-5 years old. Sunday afternoons. A fun family ritual. My brothers and I were Pavlov’s dogs reborn as children. At a certain time in the mid to late afternoon we would begin to listen for the tell-tale jingle of car keys in my Daddy’s pocket. We knew what was coming and a delicious tingle of anticipation rippled through us. We would begin to gather around him as he relaxed in his easy chair, pretending to be reading or dozing. Jingle. Our eyes grew bright. Jingle. Jingle. JINGLE! It was only a question of who broke first. Me, Wally, or Steve. “Daddy, can we go to Dressel’s Dairy for ice cream? After teasingly torturing us by say no, he was too tired, or no, it was too late in the day, or some other feigned excuse, he would reach in his pocket, drawing out the cars keys ever so slowly and our chant would begin: “I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.”

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