Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mr. Ding-A-Ling’s Last Call

Remember last Thursday? Mostly beautiful, mostly blue and bright? It was as if autumn, unable to let go, was picking through the leftovers of summer and squeezing tightly into a pair of Bermuda shorts. Michael Steinberg, too, was picking through the leftovers of summer, only he was pulling out an iced pop.

His selections were slim. Reaching a hand into a 20-below freezer, he could get you a Choco Taco. Maybe a few ice cream sandwiches. But no more SpongeBob SquarePants, the fruit punch- and cotton candy-flavored ice with gumball eyes.

Steinberg, who drives the Mr. Ding-a-Ling ice cream truck out of his hometown of Great Barrington — on a looped route through Lee, Stockbridge and Housatonic — was making his last rounds of the season on Thursday.