reporter's license

James A. Landau <> JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Jan 6 16:52:22 UTC 2009

On Mon, 5 Jan 2009 12:23:21 Zulu minus 0500 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>

>I know them as "sno(w)-balls," "sno(w)-cones," etc. which are normally
>described as made of "shaved ice," in my experience. I've never lived
>anyplace where these were not available under various local names.
>They're hardly a "local" treat.

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM, Victor <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> A couple of interesting IMO uses in two grafs of a Reuters story.
> ...The agents struggled to hold back people trying to get closer to
> pictures of Obama eating a tuna and melted cheese sandwich and the
> *girls enjoying shave ices*, a local treat made from finely shaved ice
> and fruit syrup.
> Earlier, as Obama strolled through a mall parking lot, dozens of
> onlookers swarmed around, snapping pictures and cheering while Secret
> Service agents tried to keep a protective screen around *the soon-to-be
> first family*.

Wilson, you are correct.

A black woman I once worked with, born circa 1937, told me that as a child she sold snowballs that she made herself from ice and fruit juice that she boiled down to a syrup.  I don’t remember what she called them, but I’m sure it wasn’t “shaved ice”.

So here is an independent source confirming that snowballs indeed were soul food, or at least had some soul, back in the 1950’s or maybe 1940’s.

Now for a interesting 1946 use of “shaved ice”: from Merriman Smith _Thank You Mr. President_.

        “Lawrence [of the _Times_] bought a gallon thermos jug, a large carton of finely shaved ice, club soda, very small paper cups and a bottle of cheap Scotch.  He mixed the liquor, soda and ice together in the jug and put up a sign before it: All the Scotch and soda you can drink for 50 cents.
        “The mixture was so cold that it was almost impossible to drink it.  But the unbelieving press rallied around and tried to beat Lawrence’s game.”

One might guess from the wording that Smith (UP correspondent at the White House from FDR to Johnson) in 1946 was unfamiliar with shaved-ice drinks.

     James A. Landau
     Test Engineer
     Northrop Grumman Information Technology
     8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
     West Atlantic City  NJ  08232


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