Jack Remembers: No matter how you cut it, watermelons aren’t as good as they once were

By Jack Hackley

Joel Nichols, longtime weather man for KMBC, Kansas City’s ABC affiliate, sent the following email:
Hello Jack,
It was great to meet you at Tim and Maria’s event Thursday.  I will be reading Jack Remembers online from here on out!
Have a good weekend,
– Joel Nichols
In response to my article on watermelons, it seems everyone has the same problem finding a good watermelon.  Gary Martin from Bates City said he quit buying watermelons in a store, and only buys at roadside stands, and then only if they will let him plug the watermelon.
Jerry Ellis, a WWII veteran, was raised in the area and remembers the watermelon patch in Levasy and the farmer’s last name was Cook.
He said several boys from Napoleon, Levasy and Buckner found out what buckshot felt like when they tried to steal one of his watermelons.
Jim Strodtman, former presiding commissioner in Lafayette County, remembers the watermelon field where they had the watermelon eating contest my dad won, but he couldn’t remember who owned it since they got watermelons from their grandfather who raised big green, black-seeded watermelons.
Jim ate so many of his grandfather’s watermelon that his mother took him to a doctor at Wellington. The doctor told her that he couldn’t eat enough watermelon to hurt him.  That might not be true today.
David Oliver from Odessa contacted me and told a story about buying a locally grown watermelon, taking it home and when he placed it on the counter it cracked open two or three inches with steam coming out of the crack.
When he cut the watermelon open, the inside was hard.  His daughter looked it up on the internet and told him the melon had a fungus or bacteria, and was probably poisonous.
The watermelon juice dripped on metal around his porch floor.  It turned the metal white, and it won’t wash off.
I found out one thing.  You are supposed to wash a watermelon before you cut it so the knife doesn’t carry the herbicide and insecticide from the outside of the rind to the inside of the melon.  I’ve never washed a watermelon in my lifetime, but I am going to from now on.

Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or  Visit

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