Watermelon stealing was big deal to us

It’s watermelon time in McCul loch County. The first watermelon I remember eating was about 1934. We would go to Fredonia and stay a few days with my grandfather at his home on the Vern Miller place. On the way we would stop at the low water crossing and get watercress. They always had squirrel dumplings and watermelons (black diamonds). We ate all we could and brought home a few. Mother would make watermelon rind preserves. As I got older, it was more fun to go to Richland Springs and steal a few melons. One time I had a 1929 Chevy, and we had it so full of melons it wouldn’t pull the Sellman hill. As teenagers, we had very little sense because we would follow a truckload of melons and pull up right behind the truck with our lights off. Someone would climb from the hood and hand back melons to another one on the hood. One night the truck was going so fast we had to follow it all the way to Santa Anna. It stopped at a stop sign, and he jumped off. The only melons I remember growing in Rochelle was at the John Holland place, just west of town. We called it the Pa Green place. It’s where Joe Skalak lives now. One night Mr. Holland heard us in the melon patch. He fired a shotgun in the air, and we ran so hard we hit the fence and knocked it down. Knowing Mr. Holland, he probably got a big laugh out of it. Our next big mistake was at the school gym while skating one Friday night. We had some melons outside and after eating them, we threw the melons at cars. A carload of Brady girls came out, and we pastered their car with melons. They said they were going back to Brady and get some boys to come take care of us. We yelled, “You right go ahead.” In about 30 minutes at least 10 cars came roaring up to the gym. We took off running and stayed hid out in the pasture until midnight and then sneaked home.

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