Sunday, July 26, 2009


Corn cob
My father’s father was a farmer and a frugal man. One year it got so hot that his corn started popping off the stalks right out in the field. They popped with such force that the kernels blasted holes into the sugar cane crop in the next field. His sugar cane then started to leak sap at a steady pace. He was in a quandary. Crows were feasting on the corn, but in the time it would take him to gather up the corn, his cane field would become a mass of syrup. Which crop should he save? He couldn't afford to lose either one.

He solved his problem by sweeping all the popped corn into the cane field and then rolling the corn in the syrup. It gradually formed a sphere the size of a barn. Folks came from miles around to gawk at the giant popcorn ball, and he began to charge a fee for samples. He finally sold the thing to a circus sideshow for twice what the separate crops would normally bring.

From this he taught us two valuable lessons:

• Never overlook the possibilities for any product, and
• Never walk through a corn field on a very hot day without some kind of head protection.

(Some of my family call my grandfather “granddad”, but to me he’ll always be “grandpop.”)

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