The Moving East Texas Watermelon Heist of 1945

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The Dumbest Thing I Ever Did – submitted by Jack Strong

Editor’s Note:  This is a tall tale that my Uncle Jack shared recently at his 81st birthday party, ostensibly in the form of a family confession; however, his sly grin betrayed a clear lack of any genuine contrition. ;). 
In 1945, his big brother, my dad, was involved in WWII. Jack, however, was still a restless 15 year old boy back home who managed to get into some fairly harmless mischief, as country boys that age are prone to do.
After these childhood shenanigans, Uncle Jack went on to serve as a distinguished state senator, and he was also quite successful in his law practice and many business ventures.

Probably the dumbest thing that we ever did had to do with watermelons. We liked watermelons, as most boys did, but we didn’t like hot watermelons – we liked cold watermelons.

Watercolor of Melon in Field

There was a particular farmer who lived about three miles out of Carthage, Texas.  He was just next to the road there, and had what we believed to be the best watermelon patch in all of Panola County.  We found a place in the fence that was easy to get across, and we would just go get two watermelons.  We got two, not because we would eat them both, but because the man at the ice house had a deal that if we would bring him two hot ones he’d give us one cold one.

One night we went out there, and we had a flashlight so we could try to locate the two best watermelons. We were very careful – seriously – to not damage any of the vines or any of his crop.  We might have been thieves, but we were considerate thieves.

One watermelon in this patch has been poisoned!

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All Night Wolf Hunts

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Wolf Image Actually Taken From Yellowstone, Not East Texas

Dogs baying throughout the night in the dark East Texas woods meant that some poor critter was running for its life. When a small red fox zigged and zagged through the thicket at top speed, its heart pounding, its small chest about to explode, the onslaught seemed a tad unbalanced, a bit unfair. At least, Samuel thought so. Sam consoled himself with the fact that the fox’s cleverness and agility would serve it well.

Though its prospects were bleak, it at least had a slim chance of outsmarting Papa Jim’s pack of hunting dogs. Raccoons were rarely as lucky, but this night’s hunt was for neither foxes nor raccoons. It was for wolves.
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This post was submitted by Mike Strong.