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Monday, August 19, 2013

Watermelon Anyone?

Black Diamond watermelons at a local farmer's stand.
Those who know me well, know I'm not a fan of watermelon. Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying I dislike it like when America's 41st President George W. Bush said he hated broccoli. No hate emails please. However, till this day I can't stand anything watermelon i.e. candy, drinks, desserts and the juicy fruit itself. It hasn't always been this way. Yes, there is a watermelon back story for this blogger.

Growing up my dad's nickname from the neighborhood kids was: "The Watermelon Man." So, this is where this story starts. My dad's fondness for watermelon started when he was a kid. He grew up on a farm in Greenfield, Iowa, where his mom had a watermelon patch. He would share his love of watermelon with his own family someday. And he did, during summers growing up my dad would travel to a local orchard and buy a truck load of watermelons. His watermelon of choice was and still is, a Black Diamond. Most of my friends would snack on candy and ice cream in the summer. With a truck load of watermelons that is what The Bohan kids would eat. It was a delectable and refreshing summertime treat during Nebraska's hot summers. My dad would also give a watermelon to each family on our block; hence, where my dad's--The Watermelon Man--nickname came from. So, we'd eat a lot of watermelon all summer long.

Some years earlier, my grandmother's watermelon patch would be part of a conversation at a bar in Vietnam. My aunt's husband was at a local bar while on leave for a weekend pass; where he met another service person who happened to be from Greenfield, Iowa. My uncle would comment that his brother-in-law was from Greenfield. After learning my dad's name, the man would replay that he used to steal watermelons from the Bohan farm. It's a small watermelon world, indeed.

The Bohan family farm in Greenfield, Iowa.
While composing this post, I called my mom to get the account from above. Also, while I had her on the phone I had her ask my dad for some watermelon tips.

Question: How do you know when a watermelon is ripe?

Dad's Answer: When it tastes real sweet.

Thanks dad for what sounds like a knock, knock joke. In all honesty, to find out if a watermelon is ripe-- just thump it on the side. If a loud hollow sound emminates-- it is ready for the picking or consuming.

In short, to answer the watermelon anyone question; for 23 years now, I haven't been able to bring myself to eat a watermelon. Too much watermelon consumption for me. However, my siblings and parents still eat the fruit. In all seriousness, you can tell I still have very found memories of the watermelon, which suffices for me.

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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  1. Actually it took about 25 years before I started eating them again.

  2. I do enjoy a good watermelon. Oh the heart of a perfectly sweet watermelon! That is not to say that I have never tired of them as I would of any fruit if I have large amounts. But a new year certainly brings forth new hope for a top 10 watermelon! They are like a miracle of goodness to me. I was most surprised to find a scale of fruits that are good for you that it ranked in the small class of super fruits. Something that good and that good for you! Recently, people have focused on the lycopene but there are many other nutrients. I have seen people in small towns have a plug to sample before making a purchase. Back on the farm, they could throw a watermelon that wasn't at its zenith to the hogs. I would add that some in my home prefer watermelons with seeds. I can go both ways. I wish I could describe a watermelon properly. You have to conjure up your own image of a properly chilled melon on a hot and sticky day. --Barb Bohan

  3. I loved that both my siblings weighed in on the topic. Thanks John and Barb!