|I LOVE WATERMELONS!|
This is the beginning of a series of stories about the venture into raising watermelons for the wholesale market by the Colvin and Jones families of Unionville, Louisiana. I was between ten and fifteen years old when my father and grandfather tried their hand at raising watermelons as a farm crop. There are many memories of the successes and struggles that my families encountered as they strived to make a living from the fertile farmland of North Louisiana.
Let us begin with some history of the events leading up to our family living in Unionville. My father was raised in Junction City, Arkansas and my mother was raised in Unionville, Louisiana. Shortly after graduation from college, they married and set up household in Linville, Louisiana. My father took the position of Principal/Coach of Linville School and my mother, who had been a school teacher for several years in Homer, Louisiana retired from teaching.
During the next few years three children were born into this family; myself, my brother Richard and sister Penelope. Sometimes in life, events happen that change the course of the remainder of the life of a family. During the summer of 1949, I came down with the dreaded disease of polio and had to spend three months in the Charity Hospital in New Orleans. My father resigned as Principal of Linville School and moved to New Orleans to be near me while my mother and siblings moved to Unionville to live with her parents. After I was discharged from the hospital, my father resigned from his position at Linville school and we joined the rest of our family at Unionville. Once settled in Unionville my father went into partnership with my grandfather in his grocery store/gas station.
My grandfather had been operating the store for years and also had a successful small farming operation raising cotton, corn and watermelons. With the increase in the number of people that the store had to support, it was necessary to expand the farming operation to raise the needed income. During that era, watermelons were a money making crop, so my father decided to try his hand at raising watermelons on a larger scale.
To be continued……..