There are few things, if any, better than eating a ripe tomato freshly picked from your garden. As a kid, I would sprinkle a little salt on it after the first bite. And a close favorite was a thick slice of tomato between two slices of white bread, lathered with Miracle Whip.
Since my friend Carson Doc Riggins of Youngsville left this world for a better place months ago, I haven’t had the inspiration to grow any tomatoes this year. His passion for gardening was generous and contagious as he always wanted to share either his plants or the yield. I greatly miss his jovial, friendly manner of sharing our gardening tales, and his always cheerful addition to our small breakfast club at the Border Restaurant every Thursday morning.
And maybe some of my reluctance to start my gardens in planters was from the unusually cool spring this year.
One of our Wake Weekly graphic designers, Lewis Chapman, operates a landscape nursery, and recently I asked him if he was picking any tomatoes. His reply was a smiling, affirmative yes, they were now starting to harvest some after the cold spring.
Last Wednesday morning when I arrived at the newspaper office and into my page proofing library, I found several of the largest, most beautiful tomatoes I had seen in a long time.
Lewis had brought them for me just out of his garden.
I felt really free-spirited as I carefully cut up a whole tomato into a bowl with salad for lunch several days in a row.
Sayings stay with you
Starting as a young lad, my mother’s favorite sayings were drilled into me and I have tried to abide by them through the years since. Some of them were: pick-up as you go; if its worth doing, its worth doing right; always do your best; a smile goes a long way; make your head save your heels and treat others as you would have them treat you.
They have helped me form by life, and I recommend them to anyone. To share yours, e-mail email@example.com.
Are you passionate?
While opening up one of our exchange newspapers, The Kenly News, a headline caught my eye — “What the world needs are more folks with lots of passion.” It was publisher Rick Stewart’s folksy column.
The headline expresses my feelings exactly. Excerpts from his column start out with the following:
“Are you passionate? It’s a good thing if you are. My contention is that the world needs lots more people who are passionate.
“I’m not talking necessarily about romantic passion, although theres nothing wrong with that. I’m talking about enthusiasm, excitement, being unrestrained or ardent about something.
“Most often we see public displays of passion when it relates to sports or politics. Folks know who they pull for and who they pull against and they’re pretty passionate about both.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve attended several professional workshops and church events where passion has been the main theme.
In all of these areas its hard to get much traction in whatever area we endeavor it theres no passion in what we are doing.
“Actually, I believe I have lost some of my passion and the past few weeks have reminded me how important it is to do everything with passion. …
“I’m not saying I’m not passionate now, but as I’ve mentally examined the past couple of years, it seems my passion has dwindled. …
“If you’ve lost your passion, for whatever it is, it’s time to get it back. You can do it by narrowing your focus on those things that bring meaning and joy to your life.
“Sometimes life is not a field of flowers. Just the other day I was standing in a bed of thorns as I tried to get a job done.
“But I realized just as you can, too, that I was involved in something that I enjoyed and it wasn’t long before I was enthused about it. Now, go, be passionate.”
—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes and encourages your comments or suggestions at 919-556-3059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.