Root beer floats

Posted on May 31, 2013 by

Jack poured the bittersweet root beer into the glass, watched as the caramel-flecked vanilla ice cream dissolved in the fizzy, dark liquid, plunged a straw into his concoction and took a satisfying sip.


“My mother loved root beer floats,” I told him, as he slurped on his sweet treat.


Indeed, Geraldine Perry Errickson Davies used to tell us stories about making root beer from scratch when she was a young lady, boiling the roots, adding sugar, then pouring the drink into bottles and sealing it for enjoyment on a summer day.


By the time my sisters and I arrived, Hires root beer was her chosen brand and my sisters and I would occasionally get to have a glass.


Jerry always brought Hires home, along with a half gallon of vanilla, to make root beer floats for Josie, our jolly Polish cleaning lady.


Josie slaved at our house twice a week, washing the floors on her hands and knees and ironing sheets, curtains, dresses and our father’s shirts to crisp perfection. She always smelled of good, honest perspiration — no sweat — for her hard work. Her pay was $8 a day, plus lunch and those scrumptious root beer treats with my mother at the end of a long work day.


Jack loves root beer floats as much as his great-grandmother, I think. She’d love this sweet boy, too, I’m sure and be happy that they share such sweet connection.




Leave a Reply