Mister Softee — An unmistakeable ‘sight and sound’ of summers in New Jersey
All I have to say is "Mr. Softee" to anyone around here and that song pops into your head. To some, it makes them want to shoot the speakers out of the truck with a bazooka. To others, it brings warm childhood memories of even warmer summer nights.
Kids everywhere in Jersey would hear that sound and immediately run screaming to their parents for money or to the truck to flag him down.
That jingle is actually called "The Whistler and His Dog" and was written by a real character from Philadelphia named Les Waas, who unfortunately passed away just last year at the ripe old age of 94. He wrote over 1,000 jingles in his life and was a legendary ad man in Philly for many years. But I digress.
Mr. Softee operates 600 trucks in 15 state mostly here in the Northeast and is headquartered in Runnemede New Jersey. It is still in the Conway family run by two cousins who are descendants of the founders.
I heard the truck yesterday and couldn't resist waiving the guy over to treat the "little kids" I work with. For the past few years, I've enjoyed talking to the immigrants behind the wheel more than the ice cream. They've always got a great story and are thrilled to have a small foothold on the path to the American Dream.
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