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Date:10/20/2014 2:47:54 AM
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Pickin' Pickles, Part III
As I alluded to last time, spending hours out there in the heat pickin' pickles could fray nerves and send a person over the edge. Pickle fights resulted. What that means is that one would pick up a "number six" (or above; that is to say, a cucumber that was too big to be worth anything to the pickle company, and throw it at a sibling. With my skinny noodle arm, I was never a threat to anyone; so I kept out of it. Tommy and David, however, would start at each other sometimes. David once threw a good-sized pickle that just missed Tommy's ear. As David claimed, if that one would've hit Tommy upside the head, it might've knocked him cold.

The best one was back in '68, I believe. Donna had just finished her last row and was done for the day. Before heading back to the house, she threw a big number six at Tommy and bounced it off his back. Donna then lit out for the house. I, of course, was still in the field trying to finish my row and saw it all. Tommy calmly picked up the pickle and watched Donna beat feet towards the house. Tommy waited a moment or two, as if to allow the on-board computer of his brain to decipher the geometry and trigonometry of the matter. Then Tommy bounced on the balls of his feet once or twice and, like Bart Starr our boyhood hero, lofted the football-shaped pickle skyward. As Donna reached the courtyard area defined by the barn and out-house, and started to ascend the hill towards the house, the lobbed pickle-projectile hit her right on top of her head and exploded into pieces.

I would have thought, that after having achieved such a feat, Tommy would have danced a jig of glee, somewhat like Gollum at the lip of Mount Doom, after having finally regained the Ring. But no, Tommy only cocked his head slightly and gave a satisfied chuckle, and then returned to his pickle picking.

Sadly (or happily), pickle picking as cash crop ended in the early '70s. Tommy and I turned to Christmas tree shearing and farm work as a means to make money. Still, pickle picking remains an important of "Truckeylore". --Gary
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