I remember my grandfather, Joe McNamara tending to his garden behind our neighbor Louise’s house in Westhampton in 1962. Pop-pop was a big man, bigger than life to me. His hands were so big that I could only hold onto one of his giant fingers as we walked from the house to the garden…looking for bunnies that were trying to eat his carrots.
Tomatoes, cauliflower (yuk), cabbage (double yuck), carrots, string beans, zucchini and squash all grew throughout the summer. He tried other things, but tomatoes were always the competition among the “natives” and my pop-pop (the city folk).
I remember, we once drove over to the north fork and bought the biggest tomato we had ever seen and came back and put it in his garden. When Harold Luce came over, pop-pop invited him for a walk through the garden and when they came to the tomato, we could hear them yelling from the house. “Lizzie, Lizzie” pop-pop yelled to my grandma, going along with the surprise. Harold was laughing like crazy and he was so excited, he bit off the end of the cigar he always had hanging out of the corner of his mouth. ” I guess you city-folk can do sumpin’!” said Harold as he tipped his hat to the giant (nofo) tomato…
God, I miss my pop-pop…and his garden.
Here’s a look at what has become of the vegetable garden. I suppose it’s like dressing up our dogs in different clothes for different occasions…
Gardens; Why the Help Gets the Bounty
July 25, 2008; Page W8