What is it about the beach that makes everything more pleasurable? Here, I read more; food tastes better; dreams are more vivid; going barefoot was invented at the beach! Come to think of it, to borrow a phrase from Coke . . . everything goes better with beach.
Taking a long walk on the beach the other day, I stupidly asked a fellow beachcomber for the time. “Beach time,” she smiled. “Exactly,” I answered, “Thank you.”
Tabletops are full to the gills. There’s produce straight from the garden tumbling out of baskets; rows of relishes and jams you’ve never heard of; pastries; popsicles; hot sauces that’ll take your mouth on a thrill ride; breads lined up like bowling balls and a variety of dog treats . . . all natural of course . . . to mention a few. And that’s just what’s on the tables.
You’ll find visiting with the people who work behind them just as pleasurable. These folks are connected to their work like no others. You won’t find braggadocio or arrogance here . . . only kind, humble and conscientious caretakers who bring their labor of love to the table for lucky us to enjoy.
I've grown to love every one of em’, but I have to admit, I got a favorite. Paul Johnson, originally from Dothan, Alabama, has a smile bigger than Texas and a neighborly nature to go with. Paul and his wife, Marsha, don’t grow the produce themselves. They select produce from a variety of farmers. They represent the buyers at the farm so to speak, and, in turn, present the farm to the buyers.
Paul puts it this way, “We’re your arm to the farm.” Thus, their name, Paul’s Pick of the Crop. Let me tell you folks, they are! The mate’rs as Mama used to say, the mate’rs alone are worth going for. These will take your mouth on a sweet ride.
I promise you’ll leave with your basket and your heart . . . both full.Editor’s Note: Seaside will be featured in “10 Towns that Changed America.” The program will run on PBS stations in early 2016.