Ray Bradbury
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

The characters portrayed in this rather lengthy short story are said, by Ray Bradbury, to be based on actual people he knew while growing up in Los Angeles, California. Here he has taken 6 Mexican lads who pool their money to buy one wonderful white ice cream summer suit. Hence, the tale revolves around the personal experiences as each fellow is given one hour to wear this one suit. They do so with great care and reverence for such fine clothes as this that enables them to be at their best this one fine evening. But into the much later evening, we find the last fellow who, shall we say, cares not about how he treats the suit, other than he have a rowdy good time in it.

And so Ray spins this wonderful yarn about a wonderful suit, and a wonderful group of young lads bent on changing their lives, if only momentarily.

This story has enjoyed many stage presentations thruout the years, as well as having been made into a motion picture by the Walt Disney studios.

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It was summer twilight in the city and out front of the quiet-clicking pool-hall three young Mexican-American men breathed the warm air and looked around at the world. Sometimes they talked and sometimes they said nothing at all, but watched the cars glide by like black panthers on the hot asphalt or saw trolleys loom up like thunderstorms, scatter lightning, and rumble away into silence.

“Hey,” sighed Martinez, at last. He was the youngest, the most sweetly sad of the three. “It's a swell night, huh? Swell.”

As he observed the world it moved very close and then drifted away and then came close again. People, brushing by, were suddenly across the street. Buildings five miles away suddenly leaned over him. But most of the time everything, people, cars, and buildings, stayed way out on the edge of the world and could not be touched. On this quiet warm summer evening, Martinez's face was cold.

“Nights like this you wish… lots of things.”

“Wishing,” said the second man, Villanazul, a man who shouted books out loud in his room, but spoke only in whispers on the street. “Wishing is the useless pastime of the unemployed.”

“Unemployed?” cried Vamenos, the unshaven. “Listen to him! We got no jobs, no money!”

“So,” said Martinez, “we got no friends."…

You can find this story in “The Stories of Ray Bradbury”.

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A Sound of Thunder
Here There Be Tigers
All Summer in a Day
The Small Assassin
The April Witch
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
R is for Rocket