Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pageland Watermelon Festival

My old hometown in South Carolina, population 2500, celebrates 55 years of the Watermelon Festival this year beginning July 20, just two days after my birthday. I just discovered that they have a site on MySpace and offered some ancient clippings and photos I have from the fifties. They asked me to send to feature some. I'd like to share them here, too.

Now, tell me what YOUR town is famous for!

Click on the pictures to enlarge and read...especially about watermelon prices in one of them!

This is the front of a booklet of all the beauty contest winners who came to Pageland to vie for Watermelon Queen.




This is the swimsuit competition, held at the local swimming pool.







Next is a photo of my father with Miss America. He was wearing the traditional red shirt that men on the welcoming committe wore to meet her at the airport. The shot was taken at the beauty queen's luncheon.



Barefoot Day! Before the parade day, men were required to come to town barefooted and the women wearing aprons or face a fine by this bevy of newly deputized high school girls who collected a quarter for each 'misdemeanor':-)




Here's the article about watermelons. It also shows a photo of the recently built watermelon market. I hear it's grown tremendously over the past years.



And finally, a shot from the 80's showing downtown mainstreet. Not much changed from when I lived there.

16 comments:

DeadMule said...

Hi Pris,

I'm from Joplin, Mo. The famous Route 66 goes through our town (poulation about 40,000). See http://www.cart66pf.org/66caravan/roadlog38.htm and scroll down. As children, we used to go swimming at Schifferdecker Park. Also, from Joplin are Dennis Weaver (played Chester on Gunsmoke), actor Bob Cummings, painter Thomas Hart Benton, poet Langston Hughes, and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray, who won last night's race at Daytona. (See the today's sports page in any newspaper). The George Washington Carver National Monument is at Diamond, about 10 miles away.

DeadMule said...

Oh, and I forgot. see http://helenl.wordpress.com/2006/06/19/thanks-to-larry-im-remembering-route-66/

Pris said...

Helen
What neat links. I followed the links on the route 66 one through St Louis...fascinating!!! I worked there for a year after grad school before Hawaii.

Our town's other claim to fame was that Van Lingle Mungo, the star Dodgers' player was born there and came back to retire there.

Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

I love the photographs and what a great picture of your father.

I hope you have a great birthday.

Best wishes,

Annie

Pris said...

Thanks! My father was 40 when I was born and skinny as a rail. This was his heaviest period before he thinned down again in his later years.

Pat Paulk said...

Brunswick stew, or at least WE claim it as originating there:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunswick_stew.

Collin said...

Gone With the Wind, MLK and Coca-Cola. :)

Pris said...

Brunswick Stew..Yum.

I came to Atlanta several times to visit relatives in earlier yrs and yes, it's a Gone With the Wind town for sure! I still get mad at Sherman.

tom said...

http://www.1913massacre.com

http://www.pasty.com/reflections/id306.htm

enjoyed your post - seems we have something in common - my dad was 42 and mom was 41 when they adopted me -
my son was born when I was 39. older parents, eh.

Pris said...

Tom. the first link, horrifying...the second, delightful! What a range.

Maybe we're so smart because we had older parents who knew what they were doing??:-) (smarty-pants more likely)

james said...

shoot, i sure didn't know you were from pageland. one of my favorite places. used to go through there on the way to the beach. lovely, quaint little place. me, i'm from the big city, up here next door to k-town.

Pris said...

You've been to Pageland? That's exciting. Yes, tis a tiny town, for sure!

Sandi McBride said...

I live in Jefferson, but Ruby is my hometown...the Jewel City, and my grandparents were from Chesterfield, where the secession from the Union began...not sure that's a claim to fame I would want, but remember, my home town is RUBY, lol...

Pris said...

Hey, wasn't Ruby that tiny little town we always used to beat in basketball??:-)

levon1 said...

Hi i remember beating Ruby also but i wnet to Jefferson elem. I was a bluejay!! just left Pageland enjoyed the watermelon festival. I live in NY now. what yrs where at Central ,me 79 to 83

Pris said...

Hi Levon1
I get the paper so was reading about the festival and wishing I was there for another one. I went to school there before you did, when there was no Central High...there was the grammar school, grades one through seven and high school, grades eight through twelve.