Fantastic Find at the Bookstore #8: Delivered to Your Door

Written by Jessica Potter Broderick and Illustrated by Jean Tamburine

Home food delivery from grocery stores and through a variety of home meal services  has made a resurgence in the last few years. With the current needs for social distancing and quarantines related to the coronavirus, this practice will likely become even more common.

From my childhood in Tawas City, Michigan, during the 50s and 60s, I have a clear memory of our milkman from the local dairy, Nelkie’s. He was a handsome, dark-haired chap named Tony, who wore some type of white jacket or uniform. I don’t remember his vehicle, however. In my mind’s eye, I can still see several glass bottles of milk set into the frosty snow on the top step near our front door.

Time went by, and one day I realized that Tony the milkman had disappeared. The dairy remained, but home delivery must have been suspended. Evidently that was common for the times, as mentioned in this interesting article about the history of  home milk delivery. Yet another nostalgic piece of our past that no longer exists.

Some people collect Little Golden Books, while others seek the Junior Elf BooksI love both and often look for them when I visit used bookstores. When I saw the Junior Elf Book pictured above, Milkman Bill, it brought back so many childhood memories and sensations. Surely you can see why it was a necessary purchase? The original price tag still stuck to the cover says 15 cents. I paid a bit more, but it was certainly reasonable at $1.00.

The story centers on a little boy, Dickie, who’s been sick in bed for three weeks. The doctor has told Mother that Dickie must drink more milk to get better and stay strong. If only staying healthy was really that easy! Dickie has many questions for the milkman, and the reader learns about the entire process, from cow to home. The book ends with Milkman Bill promising Dickie and his family a tour of the dairy the following week. This slim volume, published in 1960, smells exactly the way an old book should!

Dick and Jane had a milkman, too!

40 thoughts on “Fantastic Find at the Bookstore #8: Delivered to Your Door

  1. What a wonderful find! I remember the milkman delivered other items as well, like orange juice, cottage cheese, butter, etc. And I definitely remember the Dick and Jane readers from 1st grade. Simply delightful. So nostalgic.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel very nostalgic about things like milkmen. I know there isn’t a need now, except maybe for the elderly. My older brother did this job when he was home from college one summer. I still have several Little Golden Books. Great find, Becky!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I remember milkmen from my childhood too. Did your bottles ever freeze and break? I know ours did several times. I also love the Golden Books and Junior Elf Books and I have some of each.

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    1. Yes, that’a a definite problem in cold climates, Terri! In a house I rented at one time in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, there was a special insulated metal box attached to the porch to protect the milk that used to be delivered. Not sure why they left it there, but it was kind of neat:)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I remember getting milk delivery when I was very young. I specifically remember one morning my mother ordered some chocolate milk for me. We were kind of poor and this extravagance was very appreciated by me. Even now, writing this, the emotions are quite strong.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This is a very sweet post and brings back a lot of memories from the 50s. I wonder where the milkman went. Since I’m the only one in my family that does not like beer, I sometimes wonder if I belong to the milkman or the mailman. (I’m actually just kidding because I have my father’s nose and the family backside.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Our milkman used to deliver the milk bottles to our back/kitchen door. I remember it well. We also had a “Bond Man” as we called him. Each week my mom made a list and he delivered Bond bread and maybe coffee cake or rolls. They were such a part of my childhood. Thanks for bringing back those nice memories. I also had Little Golden Books. My favorite? “The Poky Little Puppy.” That publisher was Simon and Schuster!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are fun memories, aren’t they, Jeanne! Interesting that you had another type of food delivery person, as well! “The Poky Little Puppy” is adorable, as are many of the others. I especially like the ones illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. She was great at capturing the gentle expressions of people.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love seeing those old books and stories. We didn’t get milk in our house because we were all allergic to it but I remember being a kid in Germany and waking up to the smell of fresh rolls hanging on our doorknob fresh from the bakery. Pure heaven. I remember the Dick and Jane books. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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  8. What great memories. I had Little Golden books, but I don’t remember ever coming across the Junior Elf books. I do remember the milkman, and the metal box, and the glass bottles that the milk came in. Our box sat in a little alcove off the kitchen, near the back door. Of course the door never was locked, so the milkman just came on in and left whatever had been ordered.

    In my grandmother’s town bread and other baked goods were delivered too, by the Omar Man. He had a little truck with bread, doughnuts, sweet rolls, and such. I especially liked the pecan rolls — you could get two big ones for a quarter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love reading everyone’s memories about the milkman! And thank you so much for the link to the interesting article about the Omar Man. I don’t think my town had anything like that, at least not that I remember.


  9. When I was young, our milkman delivered the milk (and sometimes orange juice) not only to our door, but to our refrigerator. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast, and he would give a quick knock on the back door, say “milkman” and come right in, putting our mild and juice in the fridge. Then he’d pick up our empty bottles that Mom kept next to the fridge, give us a friendly wave, and leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I missed out on the milkman days, but there is a milk/delivery service you can buy and I’m very tempted to get a subscription. It looks like there are lots of great products that I might not be able to find in stores. Stay healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So true that it’s hard to predict what will last and what won’t. Reminds me a bit of the line in Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” song: “…changes aren’t permanent…but change is.”

        Liked by 1 person

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