I received yet another email this week about last summer's Great Long Island Tomato Challenge contestant Cosimo Commisso. After I ran a small box in my column about the 93 year old who was growing tomatoes in his backyard, more than a dozen people came out of the woodwork to share memories about the former Levittown ice cream man who left an indelible mark of the childhood memories of so many. It's proof positive, in a "It's a Wonderful Life" sort of way, that you never really know the full impact you have on others around you.
"My name is Linda Kelly and I'm writing about a short article that was run back in August in Newsday highlighting the Great Long Island Tomato Challenge and most importantly my "Ice Cream Man", Cosmo!!
My mother still lives on Long Island and often sends me articles of interest to me here where I live in North Greenbush N.Y. (suburb outside of Albany) hence the delay in my response.
I was just thrilled to see Cosmo looking so well and smiling as only he can! You see, Cosmo brings back such found memories of my childhood in Levittown. As children, we knew that Cosmo would arrive precisely at 3:00 pm at a certain corner and we would all gather for his
arrival. When we heard the tinkling bells of Cosmos' "Little Boy Blue" Ice Cream Truck, we knew that soon we be treated..not just to be able to purchase our .35 cent ice cream bars...but to spend time basking in the warmth of Cosmo. He had a warm smile for everyone and knew all our names and in his wonderful Italian accent he'd say to me "Leenda, lovely Leenda...what do you want today"?
We all received free ice cream on our birthdays and any mom delivering a baby would be eligible for this simple, but lovely gift from Cosmo as well.
My family lived ... in Levittown (Dad was a Veteran and they bought the Levittown house on the "GI bill" ) from about 1953 when I was a toddler till 1960. As I write these dates, I can't
believe that my cherished memories of Cosmo are so fresh after all these years!
If there is anyway that you can send my note to Cosmo, it would be appreciated, as I would like Cosmo and his family to know how much kindness he brought to me and the other children of Levittown."