The Milkman

I know cities had the early morning milkman where you’d leave the bottles on the step, and get the fresh in return.  But that’s not quite how it worked back home.  I really don’t know if it was common practice for there to be a milkman in rural areas, but back home up until he retired anyway, we had a visit twice weekly from one.

While he drove a Central Dairies truck, it wasn’t only milk and milk products he sold, he also had sausages, honey buns, snacks, eggs and more.  I forget what days he came, but as kids I remember two main things.  The first was that he always had an extended visit with Ralph Smith.  Living where we did, we could keep an eye up the road and be prepared with cash when he arrived. I remember him bringing a basket of assorted products up to our front door, and once we had picked out our items, he’d look up slightly and come up with a price. He had this big old wallet on a chain, full of change and he’d count out your change after.

That leads me to my second big memory of him.  As kids hanging out, when he’d come round, we’d often gather round the truck and buy snacks from him.  Mini blueberry pies, bars, milkshakes.  One day up in Snook’s Harbour, when he came by, we gathered round and Eric picked up two milkshakes.  The milkman looked up and paused and said 1.25.  Eric looked at him incredulously and said, “What!? Are they 62 and a half cents each?”

I really don’t remember the response, as I choked and started coughing and sputtering on my own milkshake.