The Milk Man
The other day I saw what looked like an old milk truck and it brought back some fond memories of the old days. I’m not talking about the stainless tankers that go to farms and pick up milk for processing. I’m talking about the tall rounded delivery route trucks that were driven by men in white uniforms who would deliver milk to your home.
I remember the milkman we had when I was about four years old. His name was Clarkey and he was a quiet friendly man who always waved and smiled at me through the window when he made his delivery. He would place our family order in an insulated milk box on the porch. I was fascinated by his cream white Divco Milk Truck with rounded brown fenders. I was fascinated how he drove the truck with the doors open.
It was near the end of the age of the milk man when my mother canceled all future milk deliveries. She told me that Clarkey was very upset that he lost yet another customer to the dreaded milk machines that were popping up every where. These big refrigerated vending boxes were found on just about every thoroughfare and vended milk 24 hours a day.
Milk machines just made sense since you got milk when you needed it and the milk came in cardboard cartons so breaking a glass bottle was a thing of the past. Also the milk machines charged less for milk. It was about a quarter for a quart.
I don’t know what the progression of events were like in other parts of the country, but where I lived these machines were around for only about ten years or so before they were replaced by milk stores that sold milk in glass containers again. The one gallon glass jugs had durable plastic handles and I’ve known many people who broke a gallon jug while driving them home in their car. A gallon of milk on the loose in a car certainly changed the character and value of one’s car quickly. Now our milk is packaged mostly in plastic containers
This all came to mind because I have two one gallon glass milk jugs out in my shop. The previous home owner left them behind when he moved out. They are a touch stone of a time gone by which takes me back ever further to recall Clarkey ascending the steps to the porch of the house where I lived.