The field to the North of our house was planted with new peach trees. Dad planted the half of the field with watermelons as well as the baby trees. I remember sitting under my Magnolia trees watching the men pitching the melons through the field and onto the truck beds. My Uncle Wally, my dad, and several other men including Henry Haarstad and Dan Baptista were doing the pitching. Uncle Wally winked at me and “accidentally" dropped a huge melon on the grass beside me. It must have been two feet long. It was huge. The melon made a thump when it hit the grass but didn’t break. He bent over and gave it a hard smack with the palm of his hand and the melon broke wide open exposing its meaty heart.
Wally gave a loud laugh and motioned all the fellows to come sit in the shade. They each brought a melon equally as big as mine. I remember the popping sound as each melon was broken open. Dad called mom from the house to join us. We ate the hearts of the watermelons with our hands. My fingers were so sticky when I made a fist they stuck together. We all sat in the shade laughing and slurping watermelon for the better part of an hour. We ate until we couldn’t eat any more!
When it was time for the men to go back to the field they all lined up by the garden hose and let me squirt the "sticky" off their hands. It was a hot day and the water was cold. In one quick motion Dan grabbed the hose from my hands and squirted the group of men as they walked toward the field. The war was on! Wally ran to the faucet around the corner of the house and returned blasting everyone. The water fight only lasted a minute but soaked us all to the bone! It was hilarious to everyone except mom who stood staring at the men drenched from head to toe. When Wally asked mom for a towel she looked at him and answered, "Not on your life!"When the last melon truck pulled away that evening each of the men loaded ten to twelve of those huge watermelons into their cars and pickups. I’m sure their families enjoyed those melons as much as we did. It was a wonderful hot summer day filled with hard work, sticky fingers, and laughter.