TOLEDO, Ohio — Cicadas, lawn mowers and the faint jingle of an ice cream truck all come together as the soundtrack to the midwestern summer.
Even as an adult, the sound of that truck filled with frozen treats coming down your street ignites a giddiness that seems hardwired into our brains.
More often than not, it's the same person handing you your Rocket Pop or Choco Taco. You probably never learned their name. But in Toledo, there is one ice cream man whose memory won't soon melt away.
If you're from north or south Toledo, you are most likely familiar with Bob Harding and his little green truck. He hit the streets of those neighborhoods every summer for 28 years.
Megan Smith grew up on the north end and said that she's bought ice cream from Bob since she was 5 years old. So, when she recently saw his signature truck sitting in the junkyard, Megan said she was filled with emotion.
"I yelled, 'Oh no! It's the green ice cream truck!' My eyes got teary as I stood there and reminisced about my childhood," she said.
For her, it was more than just a way to get a fun summer treat. Bob and his vibrant personality had become a staple in her community.
"My grandpa would only let us buy from him. He was the cheapest and nicest man to get ice cream from," Megan said. "There would be times Bob would come down the street and some neighborhood kids wouldn't have money or enough money to get the ice cream they wanted and he would never tell a kid no."
Megan experienced that level of generosity first-hand as a kid when Bob's original truck broke down.
"He came and knocked on our door and told my grandparents, 'You guys are one of my best customers and I’m done for the season. I wanted your kids to have my left over ice cream.' He was such a sweet and caring man," she said.
Bob died in January of heart failure. But his daughter, Katrina Herron, said that his truck was more than just a hobby or side job.
"He put his heart into that truck. That was his escape," she said.
Katrina said that he built the iconic green truck himself from what used to be the family van. Her father was a mechanic and loved to work on cars.
"When he put his all into something, he really put it all in," she said.
According to Katrina, he really valued that truck and the front-row seat it gave him to the community.
"He really got a kick out of watching the different generations grow up," she said.
And it seems like his customers felt the same way.
"I was so excited when I finally had a child of my own to share the same experience I had and the family tradition of only buying from the green ice cream truck," Megan said.
Katrina described her father as outspoken and a good man.
This will be the first summer Bob won't be making his rounds, but his life is sure to be remembered by the hundreds of Toledoans who happened to pick up a cone from his little green truck.