Summer refreshment from Paul Greenberg


Paul Greenberg is one of my favorite columnists. He writes beautifully, picturesquely, about politics, culture, international affairs, and faith. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for editorial writing. A native of Shreveport, he spent 27 years as editorial writer for the Pine Bluff Commercial, and has been editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 1992. His columns on Southern culture are worth reading and rereading.

Nearly every year, he recycles a couple of favorite summertime columns. One is on the joys of fresh Bradley County Pink tomatoes:

No words can capture the experience itself. The annual ritual in June becomes habit by July. To recapture the thrill, take one Bradley County Pink. Note the vivid color, the simple heft, the way it was made for the human hand. Do not delay, but do not hurry, either. Pause to appreciate the ripeness slowly achieved over the past few days. Don't forget to enjoy the scent -- with eyes closed. Breathe deeply. Then slice evenly, noting the fine texture. Be careful of the juice. No, don't taste yet. Barely sprinkle with just a little coarse salt, then make a tomato sandwich using two slices of brown bread and very little, just the lightest little hint, of unsalted butter, nothing more. Now. And you know what time itself tastes like.

The second classic is his annual list of 50 ways to cool off in the dog days of summer:

9. Take siestas; arrange to live in the early morning and after twilight.

10. Don't hurry back, or anywhere else. If you must hurry, do it slowly.

20. Have a tall cold one. With a hot dog. At a minor league ballpark. Luxuriate in the nostalgia. My recommendation: Ray Winder Field in Little Rock, Ark.

31. Walk on the shady side of the street, of course. (Visitors from Up No'th have to be reminded.) Also park there. Whoever designed the treeless parking lots around shopping malls should have to park in one every day in August. Let the punishment fit the crime.

Go and savor it all. And while you're at it, sample the rest of his insights.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 6, 2003 7:27 PM.

My "no" vote is pro-Tulsa was the previous entry in this blog.

McGuire on technology is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]