Friday Flashback #307

The new Burying Hill Beach jetty, and recent stories about the Compo Beach concession stand, have jogged a number of Westporters’ memories.

They remember summers at the small Greens Farms beach, which — unlike its much larger Compo cousin — was served only by an occasional Good Humor man.

But what a great Good Human guy Ray was.

I have forgotten his last name, if I ever knew it. But Ray was the man who kept Burying Hill beachgoers from starving — and whose Saturday morning route brought him to High Point Road, where kids like me bought toasted almonds for immediate joy, and (if we were lucky) our parents stocked up on other treats for the week.

Several years ago Jean Whitehead — a former High Point neighbor — sent this photo from Burying HIll. It shows herself, her sisters, and some random boy, with Ray.

It’s a classic image. All that’s missing is the jingle-jangle of Ray’s Good Humor bell.

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21 responses to “Friday Flashback #307

  1. Ray would make a weekly call on our street off Hillspoint Road and we would fill the freezer with toasted almond and chocolate eclairs to last the week. we could hear the bells as he pulled into the driveway. Don’t remember his last name but he told us that his full name was “Hey Ray Waitaminute.”

  2. Susie Swanson Milllette, Staples '58

    Could the sisters have been Patsy and Martha Whitehead?

  3. Perhaps the town administration can provide a copy of the agreement between us and Hook’d to see how this concession that opens on whim can be eliminated next summer and we can bring in someone local. What is becoming obvious now is that the town is as irresponsible as the vendor.

  4. Tom Duquette, SHS '75

    Oh yes, the Good Humor Man used to drive by our Valley Road house and my sister and I would scramble to get our parents to cough up the cash for an ice cream bar. My dad always had us get him a toasted almond. I can’t swear to it that Ray was the driver but I’ll never forget those bells.

  5. Jack Backiel

    Ray used to stop at the golf range and I’d have a toasted almond too. My father used to tell the story that in the 1930s, my grandfather would put his kids (my father and my aunts and uncles) in the back of his pickup truck and take everyone for a 7:00 pm swim at Burying Hill. The water was crystal clear.

  6. Paul Lowenstein

    Although we came in in the early 80s, I feel like I recall the good humor being the only concession at burying hill. What was that building near the top of the hill? I can’t recall if an ice cream truck came through greens farms neighborhood though. Nowadays, a truck would cause delays with all the increased traffic. Reminiscing can be painful. Wishing and wanting, but knowing you can’t go back

  7. Lucinda Mirk Setnicka

    Such a great post, Dan! I have many fond memories of summer days at Burying Hill, lying in wait for Ray’s visit! Chocolate eclair, toasted almond, etc., they were all great! And, like another Westporter who has posted, when it was blazing hot, our Mom would wake us up in the middle of the night for a cool swim at this beach – heaven!

  8. Vanessa Bradford

    Ray was the man! He always stopped by Edgewater Hillside where we lived, enroute to Compo and Old Mill. Strawberry Shortcake!

    • I think I remember you. Forgot how to spell your last name but your family lived on the curve, halfway down the hill. we were all the way at the bottom on the left.

  9. Vanessa Bradford

    Yes! #11….Edgewater Hillside…,what a great place to grow up

  10. Zazel Loven

    Thanx for remembering Ray, Dan, he even came over the hill to our cul-de-sac. And shockingly Good Humour is discontinuing Toasted Almond,

  11. Andrea Cross

    That’s ChocoTaco, Dan!

  12. Fran Taylor

    Thanks for bringing back the wonderful memories. We would beg Ray to do magic tricks, like removing half his thumb or pulling a quarter out of someone’s ear.

    • Jack Backiel

      Fran, Now that you mentioned it, Ray did do ‘magic tricks’ once in a while!

  13. Andrea Harrison Botelho (Staples '75)

    One of my best memories was Ray the Good Humor man and the “machine” attached to his belt that gave back change. Always had a chocolate eclair. Weird stuff one remembers from childhood.

  14. Carl Addison Swanson, '66

    Ray could touch his nose with his tongue . . for a penny. He never was in any hurry and the kids came when the Good Humor music was playing. I miss the wonder years of Westport when guys like Ray were far interesting than any hedge fund manager to today.

  15. Susie Swanson Milllette, Staples '58

    It’s all in your perspective on life. Of course the Good
    Humor man is more important. Life is short, have dessert first!

  16. Jack Backiel

    I think someone should track down Ray’s family and send them this 06880 posting. They would be amazed at how popular this guy was! I’m sure they’d be very grateful.