June 22, 2011
Cosmo, Levittown's legendary ice-cream truck driver
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COSMO IN LIVING COLOR
* Cosmo at 2010 class of 1975 reunion at Eisenhower Park. Picture courtesy Larry Loewy.
* Cosmo and Samm, April 1998 when he was 81 years of age. Samm is the grand daughter of Marilyn Monsrud Frese.
* Cosmo with Samm, October 2000. She will be 16 this month.
By MARILYN MONSRUD FRESE '63
What I always found amazing is that Cosmo (or Cozzy as we called him) had the ability to remember every kid's name. He drove the streets of north Levittown for nearly 50 years.
I swear he must have had a map of each street and house with the kids' names on it hidden in his truck. I moved around the corner from where I grew up and Cosmo was still working as our ice cream man. My kids got to buy their ice cream from Cosmo throughout their childhood too. That was one of the many benefits of staying in Levittown all these years.
There is a photo of mine posted here of Cosmo at age 81. I wrote on the back, "Taken in April 1998". He's selling ice cream to my oldest granddaughter, Samm. She was the third of three generations of us buying our ice cream from Cosmo, never from anyone else. This was on our block, Furrow Lane.
Cosmo also remembered all the kids birthdays as well as their names. And as a parent, I know he didn't ask the parents. He really cared about the children on his routes, and he always took his time with them (or I guess I should say "us"). He would never rush the kid who couldn't decide what he wanted, and if any other kids would start getting annoyed with the one who was taking so long and holding up the line, Cosmo would make sure that kid never got to get nasty with the little undecided. A truly kind and gentle man was our Cosmo.
So many Levittowners adored Cosmo, including Sally Mann '61. She commented recently, "We waited for him and the special ring and I got my cup of butter pecan but more important was the contact - so positive, so caring."
According to my classmate, Tom Filiberto, "Cosmo is still alive. He's in his early 90s, lives in Bethpage and grows tomatoes."