Memorial Day Weekend & Watermelon Seeds

I kinda miss watermelon seeds.  These seedless melons with bits of white seed which you don’t even need to pick out of the fruit are certainly a convenience but there was something to the hard, black seeds that makes me nostalgic for the ‘good ole days’.  Everyone’s version of the good ole days is different, of course.  I grew up in the late 60’s, early 70’s.  It was a time of radical changes for many, many things…..and watermelon was one of those radical changes.

Watermelon was another seasonal fruit.  Kids today don’t get that certain fruits were only available for certain days during the year.  That, somehow, made them more special. The anticipation was exciting.  In Louisiana, there were certain patches of ground well known for yielding up bountiful harvests of especially sweet watermelons.   The place closest to my birthplace was called Sugartown.  Appropriate.  But, then folks in my area were not known for being imaginative.  The big city was called Lake Charles, named after the lake around which it sat which was called Lake Charles.  I lived west of the lake in a village called Westlake.  So, naming a place known for sweet melons Sugartown does fall into the locals being masters of the obvious.

Watermelons were always put into an ice chest and covered with ice a day before the holiday so they’d be really cold.   The adults never seemed to be in a hurry to slice the delicious treats up.  And, heaven forbid, if they trusted any one under 20 with a big knife.  When it did happen, it was a riot of color.  Dark green rind with a strip of bright white, the deep red fruit with black spots of seeds in neat rows.   It was fun eating watermelon with seeds.  First, we were never allowed to eat watermelon inside a house and usually not on any porch or patio.  Because, second, we never knew you could eat watermelon with a fork or spoon. Since, third, we just  buried our faces into the melon and chewed till we had a mouthful.  Which, fourth, sent juice and bits of melon flying in all directions especially down the front of our shirts (if you were a girl0 or bare chest (if you were a boy) or simply naked (if you were under 4 years of age.)  So, we were put into the grass and then hosed off afterward before being allowed back where the adults habitated.

And with each mouthful, you learned to separate the seeds from the pulp and juice, accumulate a sufficient number of seeds before spitting them in a massive heave toward anyone who was near you.  The more seeds you spit, the higher your worth was in the eyes of the cousins and neighbors gathered.   Distance was a major factor.  Accuracy counted.  Quantity made a difference.

What we miss with year round seedless melons…..

 

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