Monthly Archives: June 2016

Locked In Produce

Sonny’s Grocery & Market

Jeter Campbell, Produce Manager                                                                                                 Conversation with himself and anybody who will listen to him.

Jeter spends much of his time tending to his vegetables and fruits on the produce aisle.  He looks at everyone to ensure they are fresh and displayed attractively for his customers.  He is well known in the area and has had loyal customers for years.

He is best known for his watermelons.  Jeter sez: “the best watermelon in the world come from Dothan, Alabama.  The sweetest and juiciest watermelon around.”

Jeter spends most of his time at his produce table in the stock room. There he prepares his fruits and vegetables.  He trims bananas and onions.  Selects grapes of all kinds.  Smells his peaches to see if they are sweet.  Separates and cleans his fresh turnips and greens.  Makes sure his lettuce is crisp and that his vine ripe tomatoes are red and plump and fresh.

It’s the first of May and summer is approaching.  Watermelons are in demand all summer long.  Jeter is expecting his first delivery of melons this afternoon. Every year he orders all types of watermelons in all sizes and shapes and variety.  And yes, they all come from Dothan, Alabama.

Jeter stores his watermelons in his produce cage.  It is a complete iron cage.  It allows ventilation but is used to secure his prize crop of melons.  The only access to the cage is by key.  The cage has a release bar inside to open the gate should it shut close behind him.  This is the only way out.  He is working in and out of the cage today preparing  a place to set his first 100 melons of the season.  He sells 50 per week.

While carrying wooden pallets inside the cage, Jeter trips.  He drops the pallets and falls to his knees.  He attempts to pull himself up by grabbing the bars of the iron cage.  Instead, he pulls on the iron gate and slams it shut on himself.  He locked himself inside the produce  cage.  Release bar won’t budge.  Locked inside and he can’t get out.  No way out till help arrives.

Over the intercom he hears:  “We need some help up front.”  Again, “We need some help   up front.” “That’s Laverne.  She must be alone and flooded with customers.  By the way, where is the help needed up front?  He hears running and jumping and yelling.  Hears a ball bouncing on the pavement.  They’re shootin’ hoops.  It’s Billy and Joey.  The ones needed up front. But I need some help back here.  They run off and are nowhere to be found.       Laverne continues to wait.  Jeter continues to wait.

“Since I’m locked in produce, might as well make the best of it.  I know I’ll get out, but not just yet.  You know, every year I sing my watermelon song.  I composed it several years ago.  I sing it for the customers every year accompanied by my banjo.  It’s a really nice tune.  I see my banjo case.  It’s in the cage!  Hooray!  It’s singin’ time.   Here goes it.”

One-two-three-four.  Strum-strum-strum-strum.

Best watermelon in the world…come from…Dothan…Alabama.                                                 Best watermelon in the world…come from…Dothan…Alabama.                                                 Best watermelon in the world…come from…Dothan…Alabama.

Watermelon Dothan! Watermelon Dothan! Watermelon Dothan!  Strum-strum.

Over intercom:  “We need some help up front!”

Customers on the produce aisle.  “Where’s Jete?”  “But, where’s the watermelon?”         Jeter hears his customers but is too proud to yell for help.  Jete thinking to himself,       Can’t have them see  me locked in the produce cage.  Just can’t.  They will laugh and laugh and laugh.  Where’s some help when you need’em?  The truck is almost here.  Got to get out!

Jete, this is the voice of your writer.  You know–Frank!  Ha, Ha, Ha!  Feeling cagey? Don’t worry Jete.  I’ll get you out.  I’ll write you out.  Soon!  I’ll write for help.

Over intercom:  “We need some help up front!”

Billy and Joey reappear at the front of the store.  They run in and say to Laverne:               Where’s Jeter?  The watermelon truck is here.  They’re waiting at the dock for Jeter.    We’re gonna find him.  They can’t wait!  Laverne: They can just wait.  I need you boys right here, right now.  Don’t go anywhere!

Jeter hears some sound and movement outside the dock door.  He thinks out loud.  They’re here.  Soon I’ll be set free.  But, not just yet.  Since Jeter no show, the driver and helper step across the street to Rooter’s Diner.  They’re served a tray of sandwiches along with 2 large mugs of root beer.  Driver says:  “The best mater sandwich I’ve had in a long time.”  “Let’s have another round of belly wash!”  They take a long break and return to the store 2 hours later.

The two enter the store and ask Laverne :  “Where’s Jeter?”  “Need to unload these melons.”  A melodious sound of music and voice are heard from the stock room.            Driver says:  “I hear a banjo!”  Helper:  “We know who it is.  It’s Jeter.” “Pickin n’ Grinnin!”

As they approach the stock room they hear a voice singing and a banjo strumming.  They   open the door and see Jeter behind bars just a singing his watermelon tune. They laugh and laugh and laugh.  Jeter says:  “Can you let me out?”  “Please.” Jeter is set free. He leaves the stock room with banjo in hand.  Out to the produce aisle and greets all customers there.

You all know the tune.  Sing it with me.

One-two-three-four.  Strum-strum-strum-strum.

Best watermelon in the world…come from…Dothan…Alabama.                                                 Best watermelon in the world…come from…Dothan…Alabama.                                                 Best watermelon in the world…come from…Dothan…Alabama.

Watermelon Dothan!  Watermelon Dothan!  Watermelon Dothan!  Strum-strum.

Sunrise Lotus

Sunrise at Sanibel Island, Florida

The surf gently rolls ashore.  Foamy and cool across your feet.                                                  Looking for shells.  They’re here somewhere.  Always here and roll in with the tide.            Very peaceful at this time of day .  A new day to enjoy!

A treasure hunt for treasures from the sea.  Shells from the sea. Sent from Neptune himself.  The discovery of them is just awesome.

“C’mon Mom, get up.  It’s almost sunrise.  We’re ready to go to the beach,” said Joey in a lackluster tone of voice.  “Time to hunt for shells, while the tide is out.  We’re so excited, can’t we go now?  Later will be too late.  C’mon Mom, ” said Molly.  Both say “Mom, you promised.  Now get up.”

“Kids, just let me sleep.  A long drive from Jersey yesterday and all last night.  Maybe later today at sunset.  When the tide goes out again, there will be plenty of shells.  Now,  I’ve got to sleep.”  Shaking Mom’s shoulder, “You promised, you promised,” said Molly and Joey.  “Ask Gram, she’s always up before sunrise.  Check with her.”  Mom turns on her side and pulls the sheet over her head.  She positions her head comfortably on pillow.  “Later kids, later.”

“Grand mom, you’re up.  Will you take us to the beach to hunt sea shells?” said Molly.     “Later will be too late.  The beach is just over the dune.  See, there’s a board walk out.          A quick and easy way to the beach.  Will you, Gram, will you?” said Joey in an excited and anticipatory tone of voice.

“I will, dears.  Let me finish my coffee and danish, then we’ll go out.”  “Thanks, Gram,” said Joey and Molly.  “Let’s get in our suits and grab our pails.  Hooray, hooray,” said Molly to Joey.  Joey gestures thumbs up.  Joey jumps into his blue colored trunks.  A fiery red-haired, freckled-face boy of eight.  Curly blonde Molly, six of age, with glistening blue eyes dons her two-piece, pink ruffled bikini with pink-sparkled shades to match.  “All right!  Gram is so cool and nice.  Hope she’s ready soon,” said Molly. “I’m ready.  Are you ready?” said Joey to Molly.  “I am ready.” said gleefully by Molly with anticipation.

“Ready, kids?  In you swim suits?  Have your pails?  One more thing, I’ll need my sea foam pad.  It makes it comfortable for me to sit and watch the sunrise.”  “We’re ready, Gram,” said Joey and Molly.  “Let’s go,” said Gram as she gathers her straw hat, shades and foam pad.   “Can Beemer go, Gram?” said Joey.  “He hasn’t had his walk yet, please.”  “Okay, come on, Beem.  Get his leash.  That’s a good boy,” said Gram.  “This way, Gram, to the board walk.  The beach is just over the dune,” said Joey as he hurriedly leads the way.

While on the board walk, Gram said “You know, it’s so beautiful here.  The dunes, the sea oats, the sand, the surf and the sun.”  Molly and Joey both start to run ahead to the end of the walk.  “Down here, Gram, down here,” said Joey.  Gram steps down the walk to the sand.  The kids run ahead.  “What about Beemer?  Take him, too.  He’ll enjoy his wade and run in the surf.  Take him, Joey,” said Gram as she looks for the right spot on the sand.

“Gram, are you gonna come out, too?” said Molly.  “Not yet, just go on out and start your hunt.  Stay nearby in sight of me.  I’ll be right here.  Joey, here.  Stick this cane in the sand.  You see, it has two pennants.  One red and the other orange.  You will be able to locate me from a distance.  I’ll be right here on my green foam pad.  Must start my morning meditation.  I already see the light of dawn.  Let me sit and you go play.”

Gram places her sea foam pad on the sand.  She positions herself in a lotus position.  She sits straight up, with both legs crossed.  Arms are relaxed and resting comfortably on her knees.  The palms of her hands are open.  She is now in the lotus position She is ready to meditate.  The sunlight beams her way.  With a glow on her face, she closes her eyes.  She inhales, then exhales.  She inhales, then exhales.  She begins to chant her mantra.

“Hum, hum, aah.  Hum, hum, aah.  Bathe me in your light, bathe me in your peace, bathe me in your love, peace and harmony.”  Inhales, then exhales.  “Bathe me in your light, bathe me in your peace, bathe me in your love, peace and harmony.”  Gram folds her hands and raises them above her head.  “Refresh my heart and soul.  Your energy, I receive.”  Finally with arms across her chest, “I embrace your light, I embrace your peace, I embrace your love,  peace and harmony.”

“Gram, Gram, look, see, I got shells,” said Molly excitedly about her new found treasure.  “Indeed, you do, my child.  Let’s see.  You’ve got a small conch, a fanned scallop. Lightning welk is one of my favorites.  And this special treasure, a sand dollar.  See, it is broken.  They are very fragile.  When you find a whole one, handle with care and save it as a collectible.”

“Gram, are you ready to come out to shore with us?” said Molly.  “Not yet, honey.  Still in meditation.  I’ll be out in about twenty minutes.”  “Gram, here’s Beemer.  He ran in and out of the water.  I think he’s ready for a rest.  Can he stay with you for awhile?” said Joey.  “Of course.  Beemer and I can sun bathe together.  Sit here, Beemer.  Sit here.”

Gram’s back in lotus position.  Beemer, on the mat beside her, looks as Gram begins her chant.  He seems amused by the sounds she makes and continues to watch her as she meditates.

“Hum, hum, aah.  Hmm, hmm, aah.”  Inhales, then exhales.  “Bathe me in your light, bathe me in your peace, bathe me in your love, peace and harmony.  Gram raise her arms up above her head with folded hands.  “Refresh my heart and soul.  Your energy I receive.” Again, with arms across her chest.  “I embrace your light, I embrace your peace, I embrace your love, peace and harmony.”

Beemer moves around in front of Gram.  He looks up at her.  Their eyes connect and Gram  senses that Beemer wants to join in on her song of day.  Gram said to Beemer   “You want to receive the light of day?”  Beemer barks with his paws out stretched in front of him.  Gram, again, asked Beemer “Bathe you in the light?  “Ruff!”  “Bathe you in the peace?”  “Ruff, ruff!”    “Bathe you in the love?”  “Ruff, ruff, ruff!”  “Do you want peace and harmony?”  “Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff!”  “Beemer, let me position you so you, too, can receive the light of day.”

Gram is again in lotus position.  Beemer, a large golden retriever, is lying on his back with paws out stretched, and his eyes are shut. “Beemer, you look comfortable, let’s begin.  Repeat after me.  “Bathe me in your light.”  Beemer replies “Arf, arf, woof.”  “Bathe me in your peace.”  “Arf, arf, arf, woof.”  “Bathe me in your love.”  “Arf, arf, woof, woof.”  “Peace and harmony.”  “Woof, woof, arf, arf.  Then he pants, “Hah-hah, ha-hah.”

Gram and Beemer continue to receive the light and energy from the sun.  Nearly done,   and here comes Joey and Molly.  “Gram, you never came out.  The tide has come in and no more shells to be found,” said Molly in a disappointed tone of voice.

“Gram, what’s wrong with Beemer?  Did something happen to him?  Do we need to call the vet?  Never seen him like this before.  It’s like he’s in some sort of trance,”  said Joey with concern.  “Beemer is fine.  He is still transcending.  He’s in a meditative state.  He will come out of it soon.”  “Now, Gram, what did you do to Beemer?  Slip him one of your herbal pills?” said Joey.  “”Oh no, he has fallen into a slumber from the energy of the sun.  He is okay.”

“Gram, what do you think of our treasures from the sea? said Molly.  “You have so many and such a variety.  Neptune has blessed you.  He has given you gifts from his sea.  Enjoy and always treasure them.  Shells actually are relics from the sea.  Every one of them held life at one time.  New shells, again, will bear new life.  That’s the cycle of sea life.  Neptune is the guardian of the sea.”

Beemer starts to move his head back and forth ; and he yawns then begins to pant.   He rises up slowly and sits up looking at the risen sun.  Now, Beemer is fully alert and wagging his tail.  “Beemer, you have come back to life.  I was afraid you would never come out of it.” said Joey.  Molly, dripping wet and full of sand, gives Beemer a big hug and a kiss.  “Let’s go, kids,  it’s going to be a delightful day.”  They hold hands while carrying their pails, and Beemer leads the way in peace and harmony.