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Kona Shaved Ice on a Super-Hot Day…

Posted by on July 1, 2016

DEAR GREG, I’M A LITTLE CONFUSED. “I’m a little confused. I thought yours was a travel blog…and it was when you started your Great American Adventure in 2013. But recently you began adding posts about people you’ve met, former clients like professional athletes, whats up your personal reflections, humor, cooking, the book you’re writing (“My Life in Court) and now of all things Kona Shaved Ice. You even recently mentioned an Army Colonel stationed in Afghanistan who sent you an email after reading your blog page about being a proud American.  Last November you told us about your tragic illness and the subsequent miracle that occurred. Sometimes you’ve made me cry but more often I chuckle…sometimes I even laugh out loud. I’m beginning to wonder, “Have you lost your marbles?” I”m a subscriber and I look forward to reading each new post, but I’m wondering what’s going on. Can you explain?” A faithful blog reader.

DEAR READER.  “Dear Reader. In answer to your question about marbles, be advised that I probably have lost a few. But that’s okay. What I’ve recently learned about a respect and awe for God far outweighs losing a few of my marbles, wouldn’t you agree? Come on, admit it, while reading my reflections about marbles you found yourself on an intoxicating stroll down memory lane. Shooting marbles on your hands and knees as a kid you recalled the time you forgot to bag a few of your own Aggies, didn’t you? I thought so. And when I suggest that you live as if today’s your last, that you not assume tomorrow will be what you expect, it’s struck a nerve. And when you caught yourself laughing out loud while reading about my search for alligators in the wild you discovered that humor is a pretty good way to start the day. See, you’re actually learning some important lessons when reading my disjointed  story nothing import but everything special. So there. I’m accomplishing my goal. You just hadn’t put it together until now.


Good Humor Truck. Circa 1958.

I’M HAPPY TO BE ALIVE. I REJOICE IN EACH NEW DAY. I love talking to people I meet along the path of life. I’m eternally grateful to a handful of doctors in Pensacola and to my wife. Collectively they saved my life. I’ve learned that laughter is the best medicine. I don’t take myself as seriously as I did for so many years. And all the BMW cars I owned…well, although they were fun at the time, I now realize that in the big scheme of things it’s more enjoyable for me to help someone who can use a little boost than to go car shopping. I hope you’ll continue reading and that you’ll decide to give some thought to what you read here. Maybe, just maybe there’s more to this blog than you’d thought. Hope so, that’s my hope for you.


Imagine my delight when I spotted a Kona Shaved Ice truck this afternoon.

KONA SHAVED ICE. Cooking is my passion, it’s my way of showing love for my friends and family. I like to eat, too…make no bones about it. So it makes sense that I’d post today…one of those “up to your shoulders in the pool days” about Kona Shaved Ice. Jon, remember when I told you I was going to buy a snow cone machine on Amazon and you thought I was kidding? And David, my friend for the last sixty years, remember the good old days growing up in San Marino when we’d hear the Good Humor truck’s music in the distance, mount our Schwinn bikes and brave the heat in pursuit of the truck so we could buy a freezing cold treat. (You probably don’t realize it, but I’m sure that’s why you still proudly display those little Tonka trucks in your office, even to this day.) The confections we bought cost a nickle. Today I spent two and a half bucks for a Kona Shaved Ice. And by the way, it’s your turn to buy next time! Just because you’re one of the most talented trial attorneys I’ve ever known, having represented Texaco Oil Company all over the globe when you were practicing law, doesn’t give you a pass. Ruthie, tell him to pay up. Thank you!


Randy Howe    

DEBATE ABOUT SNOW-CONES. WHAT’S THE “REAL DEAL.” AN UPDATE.  After posting about Kona Shaved Ice yesterday I got lots of mail from you guys. Shaved Ice vs Shave Ice? Which one is the real deal? But, hey. I learned long ago that you folks want to debate the strangest things with me. So here goes…this tidbit of snow-cone history came to me from my San Diego friend Randy Howe, perhaps the last person on the face of the earth with whom I’d ever have thought I’d be debating the topic snow-cones. Randy’s been a real estate mogul in San Diego “since before forever” and when he speaks, folks listen. His email to me about snow-cones follows, word-for-word. Randy, I’d suggest a cup of chicken noodle soup and a good night’s sleep.


“Shave Ice.”

A REALTOR’S VIEW.Greg, about your story on snow-cones. I was warned on early trips to Hawaii to only buy “Shave Ice”, without the “d” from vendors spelling it correctly. I was told that ‘Shave Ice’ stands were authentic places (because of the spelling) and that the cones must be offered by a native who knew what he was doing. Almost every “Shave Ice” treat I ever enjoyed was excellent, so I assumed it was due to the authentic spelling. Now at home in San Diego I occasionally see “shaved ice’ signs …but I know they’re not the real deal so I’m never tempted because I know they aren’t the real thing. I’ll keep waiting for someone selling “Shave Ice” to appear. Then, look out, ’cause you’ll probably find me devouring them every day.”

ALL RIGHT, ALREADY. All right, Randy. Keep searching for your Hawaiian Shave Ice. But don’t get in my way when I seek out the Shaved Ice truck jingling down the road in my neck of the woods. I’m delirious-happy finding Shaved Ice…with the letter “D.”  It’s amazing Dude: One day you’re doing a major shopping center deal and the next you’re writing to me about Shave Ice. Are you feeling all right? I’m sure your clients will be thrilled to learn that this is how you spend your leisure time!


“Shaved Ice.”

HERE’S A PICTURE OF THE TRUCK I FOUND THIS AFTERNOON. Boy did I score. I had a big juicy snow cone while at the same time I chatted with Dylan, one of the best friends we’ve made while staying in Pensacola. And with new friends Guy and Terry Barton, father and daughter, who own the North Pensacola Kona Shaved Ice franchise. Good to see you Dylan. Hope we can visit you in Norfolk. And nice to meet you, Guy and Terry. You haven’t seen the last of me! Folks, give Kona Shaved Ice a call in Pensacola at 850-637-5662. They’ll be happy to tell you where to find their truck so you can get over there and buy one of their frozen treats. Shaved Ice or Shave Ice. Despite Randy’s view, I don’t think it really matters. You’re in for a treat. And perhaps a walk down memory lane with Greg Alford and David Yetter.



Guy, Terry and our friend Dylan. Thanks, lady, for all your help. We couldn’t have made it without you. Really. 



I was all smiles when I found this Kona Shaved Ice truck in the apartment’s visitor parking area.  




I‘ll continue my story next time, so don’t touch that dial. Florence and I will be leaving Pensacola in about 10 days to resume exploring America. We’ll probably head to Pennsylvania in search of historical spots and cooler weather. We’re planning on visiting Dylan and her boyfriend Bryan in Norfolk. We’ve not yet met him. We understand he’s in the Navy serving our country overseas until just recently returning home. “Thanks for your service. We appreciate what you do to keep us safe. We’re looking forward to meeting you. But, you’d better treat Dylan right, or we’ll hunt you down and have a talk with you. And you don’t want that, I guarantee you. Dylan’s been a really important person in our lives during your absence. We’ll never forget her help and her support at a time Florence and I really needed a friend. She’s a keeper, my friend. 


I never dreamed that shaved ice would cause such a debate.   

WHAT FUN I’M HAVING THESE DAYS. If someone told me a year ago that I’d be chatting about snow-cones this afternoon with my friend Dylan and the owners of a Kona Shaved Ice truck, I’d have thought they just escaped from the loony bin. Now things are in better perspective for me.

I’LL CONTINUE MY STORY NEXT TIME. I never dreamed I’d get so much mail about what kind of snow cone is the real deal. You guys never cease to amaze me! Thanks for being part of our Great American Adventure. Though you may “ride along” from afar, we love hearing from you. We take your suggestions into account. Our experience wouldn’t be the same without you. Really.New Image


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