I applied for a job at Hemisfair when I was a senior at Incarnate Word High School. I was sure that I would get some fancy guide job and wear a really cool uniform but the Personnel Department had other plans for my skills. I was hired to sell soft ice cream cones for 25 cents plus 1 cent tax. Lots of people sure griped about that 1 cent tax. My uniform was a red and white striped shirt – so much for cool.

Every evening after the shop closed, we had to clean out the soft ice cream vats with bleach and water. It was a nasty job. First thing the next morning, we would rinse the machines out, pour in the ice cream mixture, then dispense about a cup of soft ice cream to get rid of any bleachy residue.

One weekend morning, we were stormed by folks wanting soft ice cream cones. I forgot to throw away that initial cup of ice cream. Instead, our first customers got bleachy soft ice cream cones. They never came back to the stand, and I’ll bet they never ate another soft ice cream cone in Texas. To this day I gag when I see a soft ice cream cone!

Despite the heat and crazy tourists, I met some really cool people and had a lot of fun. The money I made helped pay my tuition at Louisiana State University where I went to follow my first real love. That begins another wild and crazy chapter in my life. I am still living in Louisiana but plan to retire to my childhood home on E. Guenther. My life has certainly made one enormous circle. I look forward to being a Texan again.

Jane L. Bowles