I had no idea that July was National Ice Cream Month, or else I would have been indulging far more frequently (I hate to let a good national observance go uncelebrated). Anyway, in honor of the great event, I started doing some digging. And while I found standard ice cream facts, like that people in Omaha, NE supposedly eat more ice cream than citizens of any town in Florida or California, or that a dollop of vanilla was offered to immigrant at Ellis Island as part of their "Welcome to America" meal, I was most interested in the stories of Ben and Jerry.
I'd read a long time ago that the famous duo was debating whether to produce bagels or ice cream. And while there's no mention of that on their website, according to the Ben and Jerry's history page, Ben dropped out of college twice (Colgate and Skidmore), and worked all sorts of odd jobs (from a Pinkerton security guard, to a night mopper at a Jamesway, to pottery wheel delivery man. What an exciting life! Jerry on the other hand, was pre-med at Oberlin, and was rejected from med school twice before he and Ben decided to combine their superpowers and create some of the most delicious ice cream on Earth. And thank God they did"¦
Of course, the most fascinating things to me were that:
a) that they made friends in high school gym class while running on the track at the same lagging pace,
b) that they used to practice carnival tricks together, like breaking cinder blocks with a sledgehammer on each other's bellies, and
c) that they learned how to make ice cream through a $5 correspondence course from Penn State.