The Iceman

Joe the iceman came around our neighborhood in Bay Ridge with a big ice wagon. This was in the 1920s and early thirties when we had an icebox. Originally Joe had a horse and cart but afterward he had a truck. You would call down and say, “15 cents worth!”, or “25 cents worth!” He used a pick to cut off a block of ice then grab it with big tongs. He had a rubberized piece of material so he could carry the ice on his back and schlep it up the stairs. We were on the third floor. Joe was Italian and a very hard worker. But don’t worry that he lost his livelihood when refrigerators came along. Joe was the one who bought the building from my father.