Charlie GillI got an e-mail from a Mary Osborn. She said Nice a Day Joe’s real name is Joseph Zampante. Joe was her husband’s grandfather.

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‘Cardinal Charlie’: Many recall Nice a Day Joe’s horse-drawn ice cream wagon

Published 10:12pm Monday, October 4, 2010

She said Joe passed away one month and one day after her husband was born.

I e-mailed Mary back that I had written about Nice a Day Joe in some of my earlier columns.

One time while eating out at Lutz’s Five-Mile Drive-In, a lady came over to our table to tell me Nice a Day Joe was her father.

Also, a girl we knew who worked at First Source Bank once told me she was also related to Nice a Day Joe.

If I remember, her name was Roxanne Bralick. She now works in another First Source Bank.

A lot of old Dowagiac folks still remember and talk about old Nice a Day Joe and his horse-drawn ice cream wagon those many years ago.

Even if the weather was terrible, old Joe would always say Nice a Day, according to my mother.

Boy, I was sure glad to see one of my favorite comics in the South Bend paper, Beetle Bailey, come back in color finally after being the only one in black-and-white for several weeks.

Here is a thought that came to me.

Is there any eating place in Dowagiac where one can go in and order a cup of coffee and a piece of pie?

I can remember when you could at Stiles and Lanney’s restaurants years ago.

Also, Burke’s Lunch Car, too, if I remember.

I guess kids today don’t even know what a sidewalk is for.

They walk down the middle of the street on their way to and from school.

One has to blast them with your car horn to drive down the street past them.

I remember as a kid when riding my old second-hand bike how irritating it was when so many times the chain came off the sprocket.

Has anyone ever had better tasting old homemade pancakes than were made on one of those old black iron pancake griddles you had on top of your hot cook stove?

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City. E-mail him at

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