Pete – The Ice Man By John Bruno

John Bruno – Jul 17, 2007

My Mother was Helen Bruno. She worked in Oscar’s Toy Shop on Metropolitan Avenue for many years and was known by many people in Middle Village.

This is a true story that used to bring a smile to my Mom’s face whenever she thought of it. This is how I remember the story and would like to share it with My Family.

Pete would deliver ice with a horse and wagon. When he rode up Dry Harbor Road, a mother and her son (about 6 years old) would come out of their house; the little boy had a wooden spoon and paper bag.

As Pete made his deliveries, the little boy walked behind the horse and wagon (crying like a baby) picking up the horse S—-, with his spoon and puting it into the paper bag. The Mother always walked on the curb along side her son to watch him and to see that he got it all.

Pete, with head down and a little embrarrassed, just kept making his deliveries. My Mother asked the woman why she has her son picking up horse S—–? She would reply:

“It’s good for the roses, makes them smell pretty”


Jeffrey Himmelstein – Jul 17, 2007

So, was Shakespeare kidding us when he wrote, “A rose by any other name still smells the same.”

John Bruno – Jul 17, 2007

One would have to think, just maybe, Shakespeare was into roses too ….

Spencer Wulwick – Jul 17, 2007

For the purpose of clarity, the well-known phrase actually is:

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The origin is from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594.

– Spencer

George Keuling – Jul 17, 2007


Did you know PETE THE ICEMAN was JIMMY CASSANO’s father?


John Bruno – Jul 17, 2007

George, Yes, I did know Pete was Jimmy’s father. Pete was a good man. Pete even got me a job in the terminal with Interstate Container, on the trucks.


Andrew Pacucci – Jul 18, 2007


Did anyone contact Jimmy Cassano about 8/18? Jim is still living in MV.

Our families were very close, both came from the same area in Italy, and both settled in MV. My father delivered coal, my uncle delivered ice. It seems many or the people from Bari went into the coal and ice business. My father also went to Interstate Container driving trucks after he gave up the coal business.

Salvatore Noto – Jul 18, 2007


I could picture your mom asking. But it’s true about horsemanure. I worked at a florist for many years; the owner swore by it.


Anita Mintzer – Jul 18, 2007

I was always under the impression that the iceman’s name was Angelo. He used to deliver coal in the winter. Angelo always gave chunks of ice to us kids to suck on during the summer.

George Keuling – Jul 19, 2007


I did notify Jimmy and he is coming to the reunion.


There were two icemen in Middle Village; the other one was Popkin. He used to keep his horse and wagon on 75th Street just south of 69th Road.


Anita Mintzer – Jul 20, 2007

Thanks George,

I didn’t know that Middle Village had two icemen. Both men had a horse and wagon.


Bonnie Kloper – Jul 22, 2007


There was another ice-man named Angelo. He lived around the corner from the Pool Room on 68th Avenue, between 75th Street & 73rd Place.

His daughter & granddaughter is still there with her family.


Franklin Miller – Feb 18, 2014

In the early 1940’s my family lived at 78-20 67th Drive in the same house as my grandmother, Nettie Braverman.

I also remember Angelo, the ice-man, and his horse and wagon. He was always kind and friendly to me. Angelo delivered foot square ice blocks to my grandmother for her ice box, since I think at that time she did not yet have a refrigerator (much later, in the late 1950’s, she had both!).

He would cut these smaller blocks, usually two, from one of the huge rectangular slabs he had covered in the back of his wagon, by quickly jabbing his ice pick many times in a straight line until the ice would split. I recall the ice fragments spewing all over the wooden wagon gate after every jab.

He then would carry those smaller pieces up to my grandmother’s apartment, one on his shoulder covered with a burlap cloth and the other hanging from an ice tong in his opposite hand. I recollect that he spoke English with a thick Italian accent.

Franklin Miller


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