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August 23, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Two identical white trucks turn in loops on the south side of Jesse Hall as their drivers search for shade. They’re looking for the perfect place to sell ice cream, and the turf war continues as each goes for the same sheltered spot. As if there were a mirror between the two, out of each truck climbs a young brown-haired man clad in a T-shirt and shorts.
Within 15 minutes, the first customers approach the twin drivers, Jeremy and Jamill Teter, to purchase a frozen treat from the trucks that read “Buck’s Ice Cream Place.”
“I made it with love,” Jamill says, as a grin grows across his face.
Jeremy and Jamill have been making ice cream at Buck’s since they came to MU in 2009. Only recently have the two started driving trucks around to distribute their products.
Buck’s once sold ice cream from a pushcart outside Jesse Hall, but the wheels stopped rolling two years ago when building remodeling hindered business. At the beginning of June, manager Rick Linhardt started looking for ways to take the homemade ice cream mobile again.
Rick wanted a vehicle small enough to drive on sidewalks, but the search proved difficult. After some online browsing, Rick found two three-wheeled trucks powered by motorcycle engines for sale on Craigslist, Jeremy says.
Jamill escapes the heat for a moment as he slides into his truck’s oversized seat and fiddles with some electronic equipment. The two horn-shaped speakers on the front of the truck crackle softly before the radio station Y107 springs to life.
The vehicles were originally used by meter maids in New York City and then by a husband and wife who sold ice cream in Kirksville. There, vinyl decals decorated the trucks with phrases such as “Watch for Children,” and large clown heads rested on the top of each roof. The vehicles have gradually evolved.
“We took the old vinyl off and did the detail work,” Jeremy says, as his hand brushes a Truman the Tiger decal.
Sharon Gadson, who works at MU’s Financial Aid Office, is a familiar face for Jamill and Jeremy. She strolls into the shade and orders a cup of ice cream. “I’ll have to tell my office you’re back,” she says. “You weren’t here one day, and they panicked.”
The Buck’s Ice Cream trucks run varying routes through the center of the MU campus with stops at Jesse Hall, the Student Center and Lowry Mall among others. They’re usually out between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
For now, the twins say they’re content. They enjoy their current gig much more than past jobs, such as construction.
“I’m in the shade, and I eat at least a cup or two of ice cream every day,” Jamill says. “It’s a good thing I have a high metabolism.”