Well, good morning everyone. What a gorgeous day to kick off the Memorial Day weekend. I sit in silence as I remember the real reason for this holiday. I salute all of the men and women who have sacrificed their families and lives to allow us the life we have. I cannot imagine the life they have had to endure to fight for us. God bless each and everyone of them and also their loved ones as well. We go on every day, oftentimes with out a nod to the fact that there are and have been amazing people keeping guard for us.
Well, since this is the kick off for Summer, so to speak, I thought of things in the past that spoke SUMMER. Cock Robin was one of those places that is no longer open, but oh the wonderful ice cream place it was back then, when I was young. We used to have a Cock Robin on Milwaukee Ave., near the border of Chicago and Niles. It was right by St. Adelberts Cemetery. I remember getting to go their during the summer for a treat. Now anyone who remembers going to a Cock Robin will remember the SQUARE scoop of ice cream. They all remember their shakes and of course the name of "Cock Robin", but I found out that there was so much more to that wonderful little ice cream haven. You see, originally, the scoops of ice cream were not square...that came along much later down the road. It originally started out as a scraping of ice cream and then a scoop and then the square.
It also had a name other than Cock Robin,,,,It was Prince Castle. You see the first ice cream shop named for it's owner, Earl Prince was opened in DeKalb, Illinois in the year 1928. In this shop, he sold ice cream manufactured by a high school friend by the name of Walter Fredenhagen. The ice cream a Frozen Gold Brand. In the year 1930, Fredenhagen paired up as a partner with Prince. Doors, windows and roofs were designed to look like a castle, and then they opened up 5 stores.
There was a Castle Cone which consisted of 4 or 5 scoops of ice cream. they also sold sherbert...of which the grape was my personal favorite. "One-In-A- Million" malt was developed around 1933-34. In fact, they had to invent a special mixer to handle the mixing because their males used so much ice cream that the regular mixer couldn't handle it. they landed up inventing a mixer strong enough to mix up 5 malts at the same time.They invented the Quintuplet Banana Split after the Dionne Quintuplets were born in 1936. At that time, such births were amazing, and the split consisted of 5 scoops of ice cream with fresh fruit, toppings and banana for .15. They sold ice cream in quarts and in pints. A quart of their ice cream sold for .35 and a pint sold for .20. they were responsible for a dessert called the :Blizzard" ...sound familiar? They also started serving food. Hamburgers and Steakburgers and The Big and Steakburgers were theirs long before it was known by anyone else.
Eventually the name of Prince Castle was changed to Cock Robin but it was hard for the public to accept the change. The general public started to compare the ice cream...saying the old one was better...even though it was the same. They started using both the castle and the robin displayed on their products and eventually the castle shrunk and the robin grew.
Eventually, the Cock Robin business was sold to the Peterson Ice cream company in the year 1990. 5 stores remained and eventually they closed as well. the Brookfield location was the last to close and oddly enough, in the beginning, Mr. Fredenhagen didn't think that the Brookfield location would ever make it because of it's location. Oddly enough it was the longest Cock Robin standing.
So, as the summer kicks off...give a nod to the old Cock Robin and those wonderful days of old and sweets! Those of us who are old enough to remember that bird with the top hat...ooh how lucky we were!