I helped my 88-year-old Mother put up corn the other day and I do believe it was the prettiest I have ever seen; 50 quarts creamed and 20-gallon bags on the cob. I thought we had enough but I was wrong. Somebody called her that night and said they had some corn ready and being one of the old school she did not want a single kernel to go to waste. So we put up more the next morning. I hope we have enough now.
The okra is coming in and I do love that because I could eat it fried every day, and my heirloom Blue Lake grapes are almost ready for the wine press. Lord have Mercy, what a crop of grapes. I believe the three vines I have in my back yard will yield at least 40 gallons. Old Noah would be proud.
What’s Noah got to do with it, you ask? Well, the Bible tells us that when Noah came down off the ark he did three things. First he built an altar and worshiped the Lord. Then he planted his vineyard. Then he got dead dog drunk and lost his clothes and ‘lay naked in the sun.’
I can’t much blame Noah what with him being cooped up on that smelly old ark for months and being tossed to and fro with no sign of a sail or rudder. If I had been with him I am sure I would have joined him. I don’t think I would have parted with my garment, though. Well, at least Noah had his priorities in order. I’m sure the Good Lord understood.
My blackberries have made the best crop in several years and I have juiced enough to supply Pharaoh’s army as well as frozen many bags of berries; and pepper jelly! Don’t say a word! My wife loves to put up pepper jelly so we did that after church this past Sunday. I told her that one is not supposed to work on the Sabbath but she replied that putting up pepper jelly wasn’t work. It’s fun! Pharaoh finally sent an email after the fourth batch saying he thought we had enough pepper jelly.
I am somewhat of a historian and anytime I meet someone who has been a part of some great thing I try to listen a lot more than I talk. Accordingly, when I recently met up with an old gentleman at a cookout in the bowels of the Satilla River swamp and found out he was a veteran of the Marine Corps famed 1st Division and had participated in the invasion of Pelilu in the Pacific during WWII, I did not talk at all. I just listened. I could scarcely believe my good fortune for I had only days before read an account of that horrific battle and could scarcely believe I was in the presence of someone who had been there. What makes it even more remarkable is the fact that his mind is so clear for someone who is 89 and lives alone in a small settlement in the middle of nowhere where the big event of the week is when the trash truck runs. His name is Tommy Williamson.
This September 15 will mark the 68th anniversary of that epic life and death struggle and Mr. Tommy, as all the gang knows him, is going to have a surprise. I haven’t figured out just yet how to get a Marine Corps Color Guard and a band to come marching down that dead end dirt road playing the Marine Corps Hymn but I am going to get one if it is at all humanly possible. A cookout is a given. It’s the color guard and band I am still working on and I invite help in this endeavor from any quarter.
As far as I am concerned Mr. Tommy’s generation has done enough for this country and this otherwise quiet and unassuming man deserves recognition.
PS: At the cookout where I met him, Mr. Tommy told me he liked the pepper jelly I brought from last year’s crop and asked if I had more at home. I intend to make sure he receives a plenteous supply. Pharaoh won’t mind.