A few years back, while interrogating my grandfather about his childhood in search of a story, he told me that when he was a boy there were no refrigerators, and therefore no ice, but that ice was becoming the next big thing. For those who could afford them, there were ice boxes you could buy; heavy and wooden, lined with metal and sealed tightly. The ice boxes were not able to keep the ice frozen electrically, but they were well insulated.
Each week "ice man" would come to deliver blocks to the wealthy in the neighborhood. He would ride a horse drawn cart which held the ice in nests of sawdust. My grandfather, with his friends down the street, would hear the ice man and all come running after his cart, following behind and jostling with eachother, searching the ground for any shards of ice that might fall so they could wash them off and eat them like popsicles. If you got a big chunk you were extra proud. I imagine, in Louisiana back then, a place where it may snow once every five to seven years, ice was like magic. I imagine the boys told stories about where it came from, bartered with it, cradled the flecks in their hands until they disappeared, faded into a feeling.
Today what carts do we follow behind, tripping over eachother to find the best scrap of something to hold until it pales, sniffing the smell off of it, and wait til next week. And what will they think, the future generations, about our fascinations.