For just over three years, Justin and I lived in a small town in middle Georgia called Cordele. Justin got his first teaching job there. I was night news editor and then managing editor at the Cordele Dispatch. It was hot, flat and beautiful (my heart still yearns a bit for the wide-open fields of south Georgia).
Cordele is known for a few things. There’s a rocket guarding it’s main exit – exit 101 off of I-75. It has one of the largest state-run farmers markets. Farmers grow a lot of turfgrass and cotton and peanuts and, well, watermelons. And, hey, my dad grew up there.
Watermelons. Ah, sweet, juicy, delicious. Just the perfect taste of summer (Dad will disagree. He had to pick them every summer on his daddy’s farm. They snacked on the ones that broke open. He’ll now only eat them when forced). Cordele calls itself the Watermelon Capital of the World. And it is, depending on the year.
There’s a distinct way to tell it’s summer in Cordele. And it’s not by the heat. It’s by this:
That’s a busted watermelon. Watermelons are hauled to the farmers market and other distribution points every summer in pickup trucks and hacked up school buses (ever seen an old school bus with its roof and windows missing? I have). And the first sign of summer is when a watermelon plops off a truck/school bus and splats all over the pavement.
This is as close to a busted watermelon as I get now:
A watermelon margarita at Outback Steakhouse. I forget I don’t like all the salt in a margarita, and this one was no exception. The best part was the garnish.
I really need to go to the grocery store and buy a watermelon. If only I could find one with seeds.