A sweet way to celebrate 50th anniversary

Monday, September 11, 2017
Bob and Kate Shaw shared a sweet celebration in Storm Lake Friday. / Photo by Mari Bauer

Did you happen to see the bright rainbow splashed on the sides of a red and white topless truck cruising around Storm Lake Thursday afternoon? No you weren’t seeing things - a 50 year old ice cream truck was paying a visit to help a couple celebrate their 50th anniversary. Bob and Kate Shaw decided they would celebrate by cruising across Iowa stopping all along the way to hand out free ice cream to share their happiness with hundreds of people.

The Shaws purchase the truck in 1985 from Joan Baird of Spirit Lake. What influenced to couple for doing such an unusual thing? Kate explains, “We were camping in Colorado. While at the campground we got a hankering for ice cream. Needless to say there was no where to get it unless we made the 30-mile trek to Canyon City for the tasty treat.”One day back home in Spirit Lake at their business Shaw Paint and Glass, Joan came in and shared a treat with everyone, something she did often in her travels. Eventually she presented them with the idea of buying the ice cream truck from her, which the Shaws gladly did.

Until this trip across Iowa, the Shaws never ventured far from their home base of Spirit Lake. They did haul treats to family reunions, birthday parties, or any event to be celebrated.

They left Spirit Lake on September 6. They hope to cover 100 miles a day. The Shaws make random stops in towns mostly at their sponsors — Pizza Ranch and Fareway. Fareway acts as a pickup point for the delicious treats donated Well’s Blue Bunny Ice Cream. Another one of their sponsors is Diamond Vogel Paint and Shaw’s of Okoboji —all Iowa based.

While in Storm Lake they ran into a couple of friends. One was a college classmate of Bob’s, Marvel Moss. They both attended the former Westmar College in LeMars. They also ran into Father Smith from Breda who used to preach in Spirit Lake. The Shaws were tickled to run into their late daughter Angela’s onetime teacher, Jenny DuWall.

“There is no problem so big God and ice cream can’t cure.”

Friday the Shaws stopped in Boone, Iowa for the city’s celebration and to treat Fareway headquarter employees to ice cream. Their next stop will be in Gilbert where they will be treating their niece’s elementary students —something they take great pleasure in doing.

“We will be stopped at Coalville where our nephew oversees a preschool and head start. We served 90 to 100 rug rats,” Kate laughs.

As they cross Iowa they will attend lots of parades and city celebrations. One stop the Shaws are excited about is at Antique Archaeology, where the show “American Pickers” is filmed. After that stop they will be staying overnight in a convent with the nuns.

The Shaws will be meeting up with an old friend from Spirit Lake in Dubuque who will show them around.

The couple wants to promote family, marriage, God and of course, ice cream, as their journey continues.

Kate’s words of wisdom for the trip, “There is no problem so big God and ice cream can’t cure.”

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