May. 6th, 2013

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Sunday Afternoon at Joe Montague's Farm: Barn Front Porch
May 2013

Three Bits o' Gratitude

1. This weekend was the first Grower's Market in Fuquay-Varina, and Bonn's first show selling her soap. The weeks leading up to this show were stressful for her, so it was good to get the first show done and over with. Considering all, she did pretty well. Her soaps got a very good reaction from the strawberry and greens buying crowd and she sold a respectable number of them as well.

2. Apparently there has been a Farmer's Market in this location for a number of years. Many of the sellers are Good Ol' Boy North Carolina farmers who grew up farming the land and have kept right on doing it well into their sixties and seventies. The Market had a strong community vibe -- the majority of the sellers all knew each other and greeted one another with handshakes and hugs.

What struck me the most about this was that the greetings were all very genuine -- race, ethnicity, spoken accents making no difference at all. It's things like this that give me hope for our species.

3. One of the many things the manager of the Market forgot to mention to Bonn was that, as a member of the Market, she was supposed to show up at the home of one of the farmer's on Sunday to have her picture taken for publicity purposes. Before we left the Market, we met the farmer whose home we were supposed to go to. He was an older gentleman, with a white beard, well-worn overalls, and a black felt hat with a John Deere tractor pin on the front.

When Bonn learned his name was Joe Montague she told him that she had Montagues in her family tree. He turned a mean gaze to me as if to say, "You mean you're claiming kinship to me?"

"She's done her research!" I quickly responded.

To be safe, though, I had Bonn print out some of her research that linked her to the Montagues. (13th Great-grandfather)

Turns out the glaring gaze was all an act. Mr. Montague turned out to be the most gracious and amusing of hosts. He gave us a quick tour of the downstairs of their house -- a house built in the mid-1800s and to which he has added several additional rooms (like a living room with a 25' cathedral ceiling and an octagon-shaped kitchen) all constructed with wood originally hewn in the same time period, gathered from old tobacco barns and local buildings. Oh, and most of the windows came from old churches, just for a bit of artistic color.

The front porch of the barn at the head of his driveway looks like it should be an antique shop. Old license plates, a doctor's horse-drawn carriage, an old washing machine, old signs, tools, and rocking chairs.

I spent most of my time there with my mouth gaping open from saying, "WOW!" so often.



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