George Smith: The last tomato of summer
Sep 01, 2013 | 3243 views |  0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print

If there’s anything that smells better than thick-slicked, hickory-smoked bacon sizzling in the oven, I don’t know about it.

If there’s a lovelier sight than three Joe Hays tomatoes on the kitchen counter, I haven’t seen it.

And one of the best tastes ever is a Chilton County peach sliced over a bowl of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. I’d have to make it a very close second to the bacon ’n tomato. And I want that sandwich WITHOUT lettuce. That just gets in the way of the taste of the bacon.

So ...

Whatever happened to the good ol’ summertime?”

The tomatoes are from a basket of eight or so that Joe, who lives just over the hill from me, left in the carport one day last week. I called Joe with thanks:

“Won’t be anymore, that’s it.”

Slicing a tomato onto white bread, I knew I was looking at the last tomato of the summer. Felt the same way that night in slicing a lovely and juicy Chilton County peach on a bowl of Blue Bell vanilla . . .

“The last peach of the summer.”

That message came from Chilton County’s Ken Easterling just recently. Unloading a light load of his peaches to customers in the Regions Bank parking lot in Oxford, the message was:

“There won’t be anymore this year.”

Then Friday at noon, followers of the Rev. Truman Norred gathered in the basement at Blue Mountain Baptist for a “last church lunch of the summer.”

Monday is Labor Day and Pastor Norred said we were going to do the lunch in honor of the workers’ holiday.

Labor Day ...

It’s always the first Monday in September and has been since Congress so decreed back in 1894.

And while autumn doesn’t officially get here until Sept. 22 and winter until Dec. 21, Labor Day is sort of the unofficial finish line to summer, at least in our minds.

I know that my toes always begin to chill just a bit in the pre-dawn hours of Labor Day and I’ve already checked my sock drawer to be sure the wools are ready. I’ve also pulled out my flannel pajamas and will bed down Monday night feeling warm all over.

So where did the good ol’ summertime go?


“Whatever happened to global warming?”

The ice cap up around the North Pole may be tumbling the ice pack into the sea, but any thought of Saks becoming a seaside resort due to rising seas is as far-fetched as ever.

By any definition, we just didn’t have a summertime. We got a belated taste of our missing heat this past week, but mostly it has rained and rained and rained. That, in turn, cut into Joe’s tomato crop and Ken’s peaches.

According to climatologists (50-cent word for weathermen), life as we know it on this planet is going to change dramatically.

Since that global warming  is mostly hanging out up around the North Pole, I’m not sure what’s going to happen around here. I doubt even James Spann, Weatherman One, knows.

But I’m not taking any chances. It is in my daily talks with The Man up there that He not let anything happen to bacon and peaches and tomatoes and mayonnaise.

The possibility that my progeny (25-cent word for descendants) will not know the pure finger-licking goodness of a Joe Hays tomato or a Ken Easterling peach as grown by his progeny tears at the soul.

So ... I do want just a wee bit of that global warming to get here by like late March to ensure a better and bigger tomato and peach crops into infinity and beyond.

A final note: If you don’t understand what I’ve been preaching about this morning, go back and read it again.

May help, but wouldn’t bet on it ...


George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:




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