Calico, like most of the Mojave Desert, is hot summer. An incident of the summer in the 1880s, while Calico was booming, indicates it was hot enough to send the devil scampering home to cool off.
The driver of the daily ice wagon was doing a grand business unloading his wares at three dollars a block, and no hagglers. That is, not until a newcomer, a man who had that day come to work in the mines, rushed out of the boarding house and gasped: “Give me a nickel’s worth of ice.”
The Iceman extended his hand, took the nickel, then stepped back to wait.
” Well?” the hot, tired, dust covered tenderfoot asked.
” Well?” the Iceman answered.
The new miner made no move. He stood there and looked blankly from the load of ice to its owner and back again. the Iceman opened his mouth once or twice as if to speak, then snapped his lips together.
” Well?” the newcomer repeated.
” Well yourself,” was the reply. “Maybe you don’t know it but ice is five cents a rub. If you don’t hurry, your rub is goin’ to be melted away!”
The tenderfoot hastily took his rub.
from: Pioneer Tales of San Bernardino County — WPA Writers Program