Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ever plug a watermelon?

An American car

 Now this is loving a watermelon!
And now:
My daddy was raised on a farm. The oldest child of 13. He had to quit school to become a full time farm hand at the age of 9.  That was not unheard of in the first of the 1900s and before. Kids in the cities and coal mining country went to work at that age. Sherry’s parents worked in cotton mills from the age of 9 and 12 until their late 50s.

I remember hearing my daddy say, “Don’t tell me that rocks do not grow, each year we cleaned the fields of rocks during plowing and hauled them to the edge and added them to the wall before planting. All the rocks were gone, but next year it was the same, I know they grow!” and he would laugh.

Long before rest areas some of the state roads had signs, “PICNIC TABLE AHEAD.” On trips of over 100 miles in the 40-50s era in the summer he always seemed to have a watermelon. There was always a box of salt in the car. Daddy could thump a melon and tell if it was ripe. I never knew him to be wrong. At a picnic table he would drop the ‘melon’ (Never watermelon just melon) then we would break off pieces with our fingers. Lastly he would use his pocket knife.  When I was a kid I could eat many seeds too. LOL

When he wasn’t around and I was in the field, I would sneak and ‘plug’ one to make sure it was red. A plug is a small pyramid shape into the melon with a pocket knife. If it wasn’t red I stuck it back in and positioned the melon so the plug was not obvious. I am not sure if it ruined the fruit or not. Does anyone here know?
This is much bigger than I was taught, but this plug was to add something to the melon.
I look back at all my daddy knew. Much he learned from work and experience but most seemed to be innate abilities. Somehow he could predict problems with an auto engine with no obvious symptoms.

In this world today we have less of these abilities because we have so much technology to depend on.

Nite Shipslog


Lisa said...

You are right about technology.
I have never heard of plugging a watermelon. Though I do not think it would cause it to go bad, I think it would allow critters to a buffet.
I like how your dad would just smash the watermelon and you would pick it up in pieces. That sounds fun.
We used to eat it from the rind. It was not until I met Nick that I seen someone cut it into cubes. My first thought was “how boring”. Haha.

From the rainy West side.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I remember both a picnic table along the road side and my dad plugging a watermelon. I knock on mine and if they sound hollow, I figure it is ripe. Watermelon remains a popular summertime treat but you are right tecnology has changed the way we do things, but I don't think they've come up with any better way to check for a watermelon's ripeness. Thankfully somethings remain the same.

Chatty Crone said...

Okay so interesting to me - but kids nowadays - by pre-cut watermelon! Everything is done for them! I choose knowledge like this myself.

betty said...

I never heard of plugging a watermelon to see its ripeness. It seems like a clever thing to do. My mom was a thumper of watermelons for ripeness. I think I picked up that skill from her. What I did learn this past October was the various kinds of pumpkins out there (who knew?). I thought a pumpkin was a pumpkin but there were at least 4 varieties and a specific one for carving (thinner shell) and another one for pie making (thicker). Who knew?

Watermelon is a great summer treat on a hot day!


Susan Kane said...

Thumping a watermelon always worked for us. And, oh the flavor was amazing.

My brother don and his friend bill would sneak out to get melons from a farmer nearby. One time they were set to harvest some for the church youth group. Farmer had picked them. So they had to go buy some.
Then they cut a plug, poured vodka in it and waited for it to seep through. Those dear Christian youth.

Awesome cars!

yaya said...

I cannot pick a good melon for the life of me. I could thump then until the cows came home but it's not ever worked for me! I never heard of plugging a melon but I would like to do that in the store just to make sure I had a ripe one...somehow I don't think that would be a good idea! When I was a kid my family camped across this fabulous country in the summer and yes we stopped at many picnic tables for lunch on our way. Mom would sometimes break out the camp stove and heat up some stew or whatever she had on hand. We always had a ball and I have so many wonderful memories of those times!

Mevely317 said...

Yep, I fear we're getting dumber sooner. Sad that so much folk wisdom is disappearing. That's some car! No, I never heard of plugging a melon until a few years ago. I don't recall my parents every buying one, just for our own enjoyment.