There is probably just one unofficial holiday in the world that was started by a Jewish guy in Rock Hill who was famous for his Christmas light display, his online gamesmanship with people around the world – and his sweet tooth.
Bruce Rosenberg died March 12, 2012, after a fight against cancer, but as he lay dying, he kept talking about his idea to start an “Ice Cream for Breakfast Day” as a way to encourage people to stop rushing around, to eat some ice cream, and to hug those they love.
Nine days later, on March 21 – the anniversary of Rosenberg’s cancer diagnosis – people who knew him in person and online plowed ahead with the first “Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.”
Word spread on the Internet, and thousands ate ice cream from Rock Hill to Russia. There was ice cream in the United States and United Arab Emirates, and in barrooms in Australia, where beer was shelved for ice cream.
Last year, more than 30,000 people ate ice cream on March 21. This year, Rosenberg’s friends and family are hoping hundreds of thousands participate.
And it all started in the Stafford Park neighborhood of Rock Hill, with a dying man who refused to feel sorry for himself.
“This thing has just taken on a life of its own, because so many people loved Bruce,” said Julie Rosenberg, Bruce’s widow. “He wanted it to happen and it did.
“It is far too big now for me to be in the middle of all of it – people now just do it.”
Rosenberg played the “Lord of the Rings” game online, and through that fraternity of admitted dorks and geeks, along with people who knew his family, the word spread online and has never stopped.
This year, Friday will be the one day that there is no worry about lactose intolerance, fat content or skinny, boring doctors on TV trying to tell people that life is good if you eat grass and deny all pleasure.
No, this Friday morning will be sweet and filled with butterfat. No unsweetened organic sprouts, no sensible diets – just fat-laden, sinful ice cream.
As Rosenberg used to say to people he met, even when he was dying, “Live a little, baby!”