Bomb Pops – The All-American Treat

Bomb Pops the All-American Treat for Memorial Day frozen red white and blue ice invented in Kansas City, Missouri

For tonight’s #DoodlewashDinner I’m bringing something red, white, and blue and hoping everyone who celebrates this day of honor has had a happy Memorial Day. The bomb pop was invented by James S. Merritt and D.S. Abernethy back in 1955, right here in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. This was a favorite summer treat for kids when I was growing up, but I realize now how weird it is that it’s basically a frozen ice in the shape of a weapon. But, come to think of it, there’s probably nothing more American than that. Truly, it’s the only thing I could think of in the appropriate colors for today.

When I was little, the sound of a bell chiming through the neighborhood would signal the ice cream truck was passing by. If you were lucky and could get your mother to hand you a dollar, you could rush out the door yelling frantically in an attempt to get it to stop. The ice cream truck driver in our neighborhood seemed to be less interested in making a sale and we would often have to chase his truck for several blocks before catching his attention. But once stopped, dollars in hand, we could choose from a fabulous array of frozen treats purchased from a complete stranger in white van. Though there was plenty to choose from, the red, white, and blue bomb pop was always the star of the show.

Summers could get really hot here, so an icy treat like this was amazing! But the real fun was the way it stained your tongue a bright red and then a deep purple. Of course, you couldn’t see your own brightly colored tongue, just your friend’s tongue. In between slurps, we’d stick out our tongues and ask each other what it looked like. It became an odd and impossible to win contest of tongue painting that would end with no prize greater than a wet, stained wooden stick, but we did it every time. When I hear the ding of an ice cream truck today, I still get the urge to chase after it, but since it’s not something I could ever do alone with nobody to examine my tongue, I just pause and enjoy the sweet memories.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Doodlewash Dinner Party during the month of May! I’ll post the gallery tomorrow featuring all of the talented guest doodlewashers who showed up for the party along with a sampling of the delightful culinary creations that they each brought to this delicious event! Stay tuned! 


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Teal, Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
42 Comments
  1. Love it, the bomb pop, we have a similar one in the uk, ‘the rocket’ and we just discovered lidl do their own version with popping candy on the top, it’s lush, little bombs cracking in your mouth? Great doodlewash Charlie, and happy Memorial Day.

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca! 😃💕Wow…a popping candy combo sounds like it’s definitely deserving of the name rocket. That’s so cool!!

  2. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    An appropriate way to celebrate the day! Cool doodlewash Charlie! 🙂

  3. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Lovely painting, boy does it bring back memories of ice cream trucks and simpler times, and had a good laugh at what the sound of an ice cream truck’s bell can still do. Delightful post as always Charlie, enjoy the day!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Haunani! 😃💕One of these days I’m going to chase that truck! Join me! Let’s do it! Lol

      • artandmoondreams 1 year ago

        Sounds like a great idea! You go ahead, I need to tie my shoe laces……/giggle.

  4. gracebanana 1 year ago

    That is awesome, oh, memories of the good days

  5. Jacob 1 year ago

    Ooh, you weren’t kidding when you said today’s was naughty. These look perfect! And very appropriate.

    We indeed, as Rebecca mentions, have the ‘Rocket lolly’ companion here, usually pineapple/orange/strawberry, but I have seen these around too. They were a staple of summer, along with the Calippo! It was the chimes of Greensleeves (or later Sailor’s Hornpipe) that heralded our ice cream van – this was nice to hear, even if I generally preferred to take lollies from my own freezer free of charge. 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! 😃Greensleeves? Really? That’s so different from the simple ding I had. Much more elegant! Our Calippos were just called Push Ups. Not a lot of effort went into naming here it seems. Hehe

  6. Jodi 1 year ago

    Sweet memories! We were innocent and didn’t realize they were shaped like weapons – we only knew they were sweet and cold and yummy! Great job doodlewashing them! Looking forward to a new exciting adventure in June! Sorry I never got around to painting my food! 🙁

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jodi! 😃💕 They were so good…I also used to like the banana version. No worries on the food…we ended up with lots to eat! Oh if it were all real!! Yum! Lol Still putting the finishing thoughts on the June adventure. But I’m thinking you’ll definitely play next month! 😉

      • Jodi 1 year ago

        such a teaser you are! 🙂

  7. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Hi Charlie, yes we do have similar tastes, I always loved the bomb pop. The ice cream man would come to our neighborhood and all the kids in the neighborhood would chase him down the street. What fun! Beautiful doodlewash today!

  8. Teri C 1 year ago

    You did it! Red, white and blue yummies!

  9. love these and so appropriate for Memorial Day. 🙂 these remind me of the days when my daughters and I would make a trip to our local store to buy these. Yes, memory lane moment, here. 🙂

  10. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Ice cream trucks are alive and well in our neighborhood today, but they always loom larger in those childhood memories. Colored tongues and all. (K)

  11. debiriley 1 year ago

    gorgeously painted Charlie! fab colors! stunning! love these 🙂

  12. ybromfield 1 year ago

    Great doodlewash! You captured so well the joy of eating a popsicle! I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day!

  13. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Ah, such great memories! 😄 The ice cream truck always played a simple tune as it toured our neighborhood which I imagine drove the young driver insane hearing it over and over again! 😜 I don’t remember the bomb pop but I like how you painted it and the memories of sticking out your tongue! You always make me smile, thanks Charlie! ❤️😍🎉

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jill! 😃💕Yeah I can’t imagine what it would be light to hear that little tune played over and over again. … A wonder many of them didn’t go certifiably insane! Lol Glad ya liked the story! 😉hehe

  14. Cathe 1 year ago

    What a fun post! Great popsicles! Flashback to summers past, such happy memories!

  15. That one is my hub’s favorite too! Beautiful job, Charlie, you are shining from each one of these paintings, so impressed with what you can do! And the color matching too! 😀 Well done, my bro & pal! <3

    • Author

      Thanks so much, sis! 😃💕Hehe… I’m so thrilled you liked this month’s theme. It was really fun to do, but I think I gained weight thinking about food all the time. 😊lol

      • Lol, it was worth it Charlie! Your stuff really shined this month. I don’t know how you paint every day, I am in awe of this!!

      • Author

        Awww thanks! 😃💕Hehe…it’s just 45 minutes to an hour a day…when I should probably be working out or something like that instead. Just formed a habit I can live with so it fits naturally in my day. 😉

      • I bet the daily art is doing more for you physically and emotionally and even mentally than the exercise would anyway, Charlie. It is a big win-win, plus then we get to see it too! And the arty goodness continues! Have you decided on your June project yet?

      • Author

        It has been just that! Brain exercise counts right? Hehe… and I’m nearly there with forming the idea for June. You know me… it’s always a sudden rush right when I post it later! 😊

  16. It’s perfect Charlie! And when your the mother of the kid eating one of these all you can think is, “How do I get that red off his face?!”

  17. kathiwerner 1 year ago

    My children would love it! Has been a great month again. And we wait for tomorrow to see what comes next…

    • Author

      Thanks! This was a fun one to doodlewash…so many great childhood memories! Yep! New adventure starts tomorrow!! 😃

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