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It is late summer and you are driving on an open stretch of road with the windows down. Other cars pass you with their windows up, but you are the sort of person who enjoys savoring whatever gifts the season has to offer.

You have your windows down.

It is late Summer, past the Fourth of July. Rural roads and urban boulevards alike are endowed with a dry and dusty melancholy which, impregnated with humidity, lingers heavily in the nose, oppressive at midday, but mellow and languid in the late afternoon. Now, up ahead on the shoulder, at an intersection, or simply in a parking space, you see the vendor with his seasonal messages:

VEGETABLES
HEAD LETTUCE
STRAWBERRIES
SWEET CORN
CUKES ZUKES
WATERMELLONS
TOMATOES
RASPERRIES
PEPPERS
GREEN BEANS
CANTALOUPE
PUMPKINS

The farmstand may be a permanent structure, perhaps adjoining to a refurbished barn which once may have been a family farm. It may be a tent in a field or in a parking lot, paying rent to the land owner for a season. It may be a trailer pulled daily or weekly onto the shoulder of a highway. It may be simply the bed of a dilapidated pickup truck. In every case, you pull your vehicle over.

Here is a direct link to the simpler way of life denied by the convenience and conventions of modern commerce most of the year. Sure, the supermarket affords you the luxury of having canned and frozen goods and even fresh "out-of-season" produce grown and flown in from more temperate distant lands year-round. Would young people even recognize a phrase such as "out-of-season" anymore?

You get out of your car and casually mosey up to inspect the produce. The vendor smiles, and as you return the smile, casually begin to banter. Shop-talkin'.

Fine weather we been havin', we could use the rain, and those storms sure were bad last week, but not where these melons came from. From Alabama you say? These peaches from southern Illinois. Those tomatoes from Kentucky. And the green beans? Oh, just up Route 23, the farm where 176 ends. Yeah, I was up that way last week, their sweet corn should be ready any week now. Next week? Well, allright then, you going to around here next week? Sure thing! Say, I'll take some of those big blackberries. The wife loves to make waffles with 'em. And I'll take a watermelon too, this one here. It has that good hollow sound when you thump it. Lesee now, here is a ten. No, I'll just take the dollar and you can keep the change. Hey, not a problem buddy, I'll see you 'round next week for that corn. You have a good'un!

Back in your vehicle, you pull back onto the highway or onto the boulevard, feeling good. Made a simple and honest deal with a simple and honest entrepreneur, who bought his produce from other simple hard-working folks working the land like they all did back-when. It feels good. And you know the food is fresher and better tasting than at the store. Cash money. Didn't cost too much, neither, you muse smiling at the people going by. Other drivers. Folks walking their dogs. Kids playing on the sidewalk, getting shaved ice from a guy with a push-cart, or maybe getting a soft-serve at the Tastee Freeze.

Blackberry waffles will sure be tasty for breakfast.

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