Friday, July 24, 2020

Picking Blackberries and More Train Memories

In response to the blog about picking blackberries Art Dale responded:

As kids in the '40s we picked and sold a lot of blackberries. I partnered with  Jim Potts sometimes and with Dick Meek at other times. We always picked 10 quarts at each outing.

When we walked home with our berries, people sitting on their front porches often bought them from us for 60 cents per gallon. That amounted to $1.50 total or 75 cents for each of us. That bought each of us 15 candy bars or 15 pepsi colas or any combination thereof.

If we got home with the berries we divided them. I gave mine to Grandma Dewhirst and she made blackberry cobblers and blackberry jelly. I can still smell them cooking.

One time Jim and I and his two nephews, the Beal boys from Noble were picking berries on the west side of Bridgeport. We saw some choice berries across a fence on Van Fornoff's property. We climbed the fence and began picking them. Suddenly an angry bull came running toward us. We climbed an apple tree and waited until the bull left. The we went back over the fence to safety.

Growing up in Bridgeport was a wonderful experience. Once when we were at Prices' grocery an elderly woman asked how much we sold the blackberries for. When we said 60 cents per gallon she said that was too high. She said her son used to sell them for 15 cents per gallon. Of course he was 30 years before our time. Now 60 cents would buy about 30 blackberries.

We also picked dewberries which ripened about two weeks before the blackberries. They grew on bushes at the south end of Washington St just north of the B&O tracks. They were actually a variety of blackberries, somewhat larger but without the intense flavor of regular blackberries.

We always took precautions against the chiggars but they still found a way to get inside our clothes and bite us. Also there were the stickers that gave us sore fingers. In recent years my neighbor in Danville has several domestic blackberry plants and they have no stickers. That is all I can say about blackberries.   

More train memories:

In 1958, I road the railroad from Lawrenceville to St Louis, then from St. Louis to San Antonio, TX, with an AWOL serviceman who was handcuffed to another soldier.  By the way I married a serviceman I met on that trip. Barbara Eberly

I remember going on an excursion train to St. Louis when I was a little girl.  We boarded at the Sumner depot.  Maybe 1948, I think I was 7 years old.  We went to the zoo and the amusement park and rode a trolley car.  Anita Couts