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The Time is Right, I Mean Ripe!
by Jackie K. Cooper

Last night my friend the farmer called. He told me he would be coming by my house this morning at 6:30 and leaving a package on my back steps. I asked him if he meant the time was right. He said yes - the time is ripe.

I hardly slept at all, thinking about what the morning would bring. And sure enough, as soon as I awoke I headed for my back door. There on my steps was a bag containing fresh, wonderful, luscious TOMATOES!

The time was ripe indeed.

You can't imagine how excited I get about tomato season. This year I thought it would never get here. We had a late freeze in Georgia and it messed everything up. I kept asking my farmer friend for a progress report and he kept telling me to be patient. He said tomatoes have a mind of their own. The days crept by and summer started and no tomatoes. But now today here they are.

I have always loved tomatoes. Since my childhood in South Carolina I have salivated whenever I thought of a sweet, fresh summer tomato. Oh, I eat tomatoes year round, but that means I have to suffer through the plastic kind you find in grocery stores. What an insult to your palate they are. But if you can't get the real thing you take the next best thing.

I love tomatoes with eggs for breakfast, tomato sandwiches for lunch, and tomatoes with steak or whatever for the evening meal. There is no food that can't be made better and more enjoyable by having a red tomato on the side.

I also love tomato juice and drink it by the gallon. I think tomato juice and Cheez-its or cheese and peanut butter crackers is the perfect breakfast. I don't however like V-8. Those people who say “oh, I could have had a V-8” aren't true tomato lovers.

Maybe there is something nostalgic about my love of tomatoes. My father always had two or three tomato plants in the backyard and we would get a bumper crop just about every year. Plus, our neighbor Henry always had more tomatoes than he could eat and brought some over to us. My mother, father and brother liked them, but nobody loved them the way I did, and do.

Recently I have discovered how great tomatoes are for your health. There are vitamins and other things in them that are very beneficial to your well-being. Doesn't that just make logical sense? They are nature's way of giving you good food and good health.

So now you know why I was so excited to get the call that told me the time is right and the time is ripe. The next few months will be bliss. I hope they are for you too. Remember, all it takes is for tomato season to arrive. Happy eating!


Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. He is the married father of two sons and the proud grandparent of a boy and a girl.

He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short stories have also been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.

Cooper has lived an exceptionally interesting life. Portions of it were contained in his first book JOURNEY OF A GENTLE SOUTHERN MAN. Now the journey continues in his second book titled CHANCES AND CHOICES.

Write Jackie Cooper at this e-mail address
and be sure to visit his excellent web site: jackiekcooper.com.

~Read more of Jackie's stories at USADEEPSOUTH~
Alzheimer's: The value of humor
Jackie White
Online Dating
Finding Your Face
In Praise of Red-Headed Girls
Fear Itself
Men and Their Automobiles
It's All About Me!
Moments of Memories
What You Going To Do?
Never Too Old To Hurt


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