Spring is on the horizon and with that glorious thought comes hope - hope, that is, the tomatoes and lemon trees will “spring” forth with a bountiful harvest.
I will plant tomatoes again and try my best to grow at least one plump offspring. Last year, my lemon tree produced no flowers for some reason but had gorgeous foliage. I bought two lemon trees at Christmas to add to my citrus grove so I am crossing my fingers for a bumper crop ... ha ha. You will not see me hawking my bounty at the farmers' market.
When we moved to Bluffton in 1971, it was a very agrarian community. There were truck farms in many areas growing vegetables and flowers. Migrant workers arrived in droves to help with harvesting the crops. In and around Bluffton, people had a kitchen garden in their yards and grew almost any vegetable you can imagine.
We bought the only house for sale at the time and it was at Buckingham Landing. The house was on the inland waterway situated on an acre of land. We had four pecan trees, a crabapple tree, two fig trees and a chicken coop. The only chickens we ever had were two green chicks that were given to the children one Easter. Stores used to sell chicks that had been dyed different colors at that time of year, but now it is thought to be cruel. Our little chicks soon disappeared, probably due to a hawk so that was that.
Many people on our street had a garden. We were the recipients of some of their bounty but I had a yearning for a garden of my own. We had plenty of room for one but I had no idea where to start.
Mr. Hugh O'Quinn lived on May River Road in Old Town. Mr. Hugh had a glorious garden in his side yard and I wanted one just like it. Mr. Hugh also had a wonderful old tractor that he used to ride around on, plowing up yards for people. I finally got up the courage to ask him if he could bring his tractor to Buckingham and plow up a vegetable patch for me. He thought about it for several days and then decided he would.
In order to get to our house Mr. Hugh rode his tractor the back way from Bluffton down All Joy Road through the Ulmer's property which is now Buckingham Plantation Drive across from Moss Creek. Moss Creek was still undeveloped as was most of Bluffton. It took Mr. Hugh about an hour each way to reach our house.
His tractor was ancient but putted along slowly never missing a beat. I never thought about it at the time but Mr. Hugh was over 70 years old and wore spectacles that were quite thick but that did not stop him. He came several years to plow up my garden and seemed to really enjoy the journey.
I planted corn, beans, tomatoes even brussels sprouts that produced one stalk which I alone ate with gusto. My garden was a joy for me. I gave up my green thumb when one summer our water pump went kerpoot “pots.” But I miss hoeing and weeding and Mr. Hugh.
Speaking of Mr. Hugh brings me to the Bluffton Christmas Parade. Besides having a wonderful tractor, Mr. Hugh also had a fabulous old truck with wooden sides.
I was in charge of the parade for many years and I was always trying to think of fun things to do. Louanne LaRoche has a wonderful imagination and together we came up with what we thought was a grand idea. Mr. Hugh's truck should be in the parade but how could we have fun with it.
Louanne would be the Bluffton Christmas Angel and we would decorate the truck with palm fronds. We found it a bit of hard work but we put palm fronds all around the truck's wooden sides sort of like a duck blind. Louanne was dressed in a long white gown with a halo on her head and palm frond wings.
For many years the parade started at Scott's Market and went the opposite way from the route it now takes. I hope somewhere there are pictures of that decorated truck with a laughing Mr. Hugh at the wheel. It was one of my fondest memories and everyone else loved it too.
The best thing about the old days and the parade was never knowing who or what was going to show up except Santa of course. He never missed a parade.
Break out the Easter bonnets
The Bluffton Children's Easter Parade will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26. on Calhoun Street.
We will meet in front of The Store at the corner of Lawrence and Calhoun Streets.
This is a low key affair featuring a few surprise entrants and the Easter Bunny, too.
So wear your Easter bonnet and join us for the fun and bring your cameras. The bunny will hop off at 11 a.m. on the dot so don't be late.
Call 843-757-3855 for information.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at firstname.lastname@example.org.