Elijah and the Watermelon

Really want to know if Elijah’s hometown was in the north or in the south of Israel? Watch him eat a watermelon.

We folks down along the Carolina Coast know how to enjoy the best part of the melon. But northerners sure do eat close to the rind. Can’t understand it. Don’t you know, when eating watermelons, red means “Go” and green means “Stop”?

Ever eat pickled watermelon rind? (You haven’t missed anything.)

We watermelon tossers would toss watermelons to the shipper.

The shipper would back his trailer to the field, and we would form a watermelon brigade, man-to-man. The guy just before the trailer would be the strongest, often the farmer himself. He would toss the melons (I mean, BIG melons, not these olives called ice-box melons sold from cannonball stacks today) up to a fellow on the trailer. The catcher would pass it to the stacker. The stacker would make neat rows and pyramids, as fast as the melons arrived.

But woops! Somehow, the largest melon would always slip and split. Shucks. Nothing to do but to eat it. Oh, well. But just the heart, the middle, the sweetest part. That’s all we ate. And the farmer would save the seeds for his next crop.

Now there are two kinds of tasty melon: melon that has been stolen (like we boys did when we didn’t think the farmer would find out), and melon that has been sitting in spring water all day. Nothing finer when camping in the woods, than to float a melon in a small stream (making sure it cannot roll down stream, of course), until it cools.

Nothing better on a hot summer day than the heart of a melon, especially a Bogue Sound watermelon (greatly prized in New York back in the ’50s). Great sport to see how far and accurately you could spit the seeds.

One day I and my friends were picking watermelons for Winfred’s dad shortly after a big rain. Those melons were growing so fast, if they were people, they would have stretch marks! As it was, if you rubbed your hand across the flower stub end of a melon, it would split instantly. We split several before we learned what not to do.

Only negative thing about picking watermelons: adders. The snake. Not many did I see, but those little guys acted fierce.

Yesterday we ate a melon. After I finished, Loana took it down to the rind. Northerners. Can’t understand it.

Oh yes, to locate Tishbe on a North-South radius, just watch Elijah eat his next watermelon.

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