In case you didn't know it, IT'S HOT today!
Never fear, for the Militant is here!
As long as the temps stay high, the Militant will run special posts on how and where to STAY COOL! He's done something similar, like his Pulitzer-Prize Winning** series on Ethnic Iced Desserts, which are still very much valid today.
The Militant doesn't like to reveal very much about himself, but he will let you know this little fact: He was a Foster child.
Okay, it may or may not actually have anything to do with the category of his parentage, but more to do with the type of ice cream he was most familiar with while growing up. See, down the street where the Militant grew up, there once stood a Foster's Freeze stand. It was the focal point of many childhood memories. He would pass by nearly every summer day on the way home from school (his classes were on a year-round calendar...) and buy either a regular soft-serve cone (25 cents) or the chocolate-dipped cone (35 cents). They also made pretty damn good hamburgers, too. The place had the iconic neon sign with the smiling "Little Foster" ice cream cone mascot, and was clad in blue paint, with wooden benches that had arm-desks on the side. The side of the building even had a lonely little water fountain (which always leaked on the side) that the young Militant would sip off of to or from school. The planters behind the waiting area grew sunflowers that towered high above Lil' Mil, and the entire location will forever become a focal point of memory for the Militant and his childhood Operative who grew up across the street. A recent reunion of the two yielded this conversation:
Childhood Operative: Remember the Foster's Freeze down the corner?
Militant Angeleno: Aw hell yeah! The Militant never forgets!
C.O.: Remember the day a car crashed into the side?
(The driver, coincidentally a family friend of the Childhood Operative, was okay, btw...)
Sometime in the early 1980s, the old Foster's Freeze in the unspecified neighborhood where the Militant grew up in was bulldozed, and replaced with an ubiquitous local icon of retail banality. Sigh. Paved paradise, and put up a mini-mall.
Today, while passing along Fletcher Avenue in the AWV (that's "Atwater Village," in Militant Code) he saw a familiar-looking blue building with a neon sign with the smiling ice cream mascot. The Militant felt like he was 9 again.
Mommy? Mommy? Where are you, mommy?
Oh, wait (looks around), uh, heheh. Never mind that.
So the Militant's first reaction was to walk up to the window and ask for a medium (vanilla - ya gotta specify the flavor now), chocolate-dipped cone, just like back in the day.
Okay, so they cost $1.80 now, as opposed to about 1/7th the price back then...
Regardless, he was a happy "Lil' Mil" again, sinking his teeth into the thin chocolate shell, revealing the soft, cool, vanilla soft-serve goodness inside.
According to the company's website, there are still 101 Foster's Freeze locations still in operation across the Golden State, including the very first location on La Brea Avenue in Inglewood, still in operation since Mr. George Foster opened it in 1946. And no, those joint-venture Foster's dispensers installed inside nearly every El Pollo Loco do not count.
But still, for the Militant, and many other Angelenos who grew up within walking distance to one, a Foster's Freeze is now a rare icon of the past, unabashedly displaying its postwar-era, Route 66-ish image. When the Militant passes by one, and the temperature is right, he will stop by.
** In his dreams.