VIDEO: Ice-cream for summer

Remember as a kid hassling Mum to hurriedly find change because you could hear Greensleeves blaring down the street?

For 25 years the man in the Merrylands ice-cream van was fruit and vegetable business owner Michael Draganis and more often than not his sons, Socrates and Sandy, came along for the ride.

In the video below, Socrates and his brother Sandy share anecdotes about being on the road with their father Michael.

Now an all-grown-up Socrates has swapped his desk job as an IT professional to carry on the legacy after his father died from bowel cancer in 2002.

Socrates Draganis feeding some grateful customers

Socrates Draganis feeding some grateful customers

Socrates Draganis feeding some grateful customers

Socrates Draganis feeding some grateful customers

‘‘He operated the ice-cream business on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 2001, when he developed serious health problems,’’ Socrates said.

 ‘‘I have turned the van into a show truck.’’

Since re-launching Classic Whippy in November, it has been hired for weddings and late this month will feature in a global fashion magazine splash.

Socrates hopes DJs will also hire the 1970 Ford Transit as a set for dance parties.

He spent two years overhauling the van and even visited England’s Whitby Morrison company, the world’s leading manufacturer of ice-cream vehicles, thinking at first of buying a new van.

‘‘They have an ice-cream van museum and when I saw the vans there I thought: what am I doing trying to buy a new one?’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve upholstered this in full leather and put in a high-end stereo system [with] Greensleeves, Teddy Bears’ Picnic, and the original chimes.

‘‘The project was a labour of love for me and my love and respect goes to Dad who I know is smiling from above on me and his special van today.

‘‘Even as a child, this wasn’t just a job — this was fun.

‘‘I remember I used to eat 10 to 12 ice-creams out the back with my dad.

‘‘There’s something about ice-cream — it just pulls at the heartstrings.

‘‘It’s like going down nostalgia lane seeing the van and buying a cone.’’

This story VIDEO: Ice-cream for summer first appeared on Parramatta Sun.


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