Good Ole Summertime Watermelons – Is there anything better?

Good Ole Summertime Watermelons


Jean Butterworth

My brother and I thought one summer that we really needed to make some money and we decided to sell watermelons.  Our dad had a large patch of watermelons growing on the back of twelve acres on our property in Tuscaloosa County on Bear Creek Road.  Teenage thinking!Watermelons

One Saturday in July we loaded up the old blue ’54 Chevrolet pick up truck with watermelons, and that was a back breaking job.  With my brother driving, we headed up to the city of Tuscaloosa on one of the farm to market roads that Big Jim Folsom, Alabama’s governor had paved for the farmers in the State of Alabama.1954 truck

Now this was in the late 1950’s and the area we picked out to peddle our watermelons was 10th Street, now known as Paul W. Bryant Drive.  There were lots of low-income families living at that time along this street and the University of Alabama had not begun to expand toward Druid City Hospital. Now driving down Paul W. Bryant Drive I can hardly believe my eyes!

While my brother drove slowly, I started my sales pitch perched on top of the watermelon load and I would cry out, “Watermelons for sale, – come and get ‘em, twenty five cents!” After a while we would changes places and he would do the selling.  What was an interesting part of the sales was that we were asked to cut a plug out off each watermelon before the person would purchase the watermelon.  This was to see it the watermelon was ripe.  Our customers did a lot of thumping the melons also.

At the end of the day we had lots of quarters jingling in our pockets. That was not a lot of money even in those days. Now days, when I feel the craving for a good slice of mouth-watering watermelon, I go to the grocery store and purchased one.   I’ve even have forgotten how to “thumb” one to see if it is ripe!

Still, this was in the good ole summertime, down South!

Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama by Jean Butterworth