First Pick-Up

May 23, 2010

I remember my first pick-up. She was a brunette of short stature who was hitch-hiking back home after a Grateful Dead concert in Denver back in 1969. I went a bit out of my way to drop her off at her parent’s house in one of the northern suburbs before continuing on to Greeley, where I was living at the time. No one was home when we got there so she invited me in and made me a peanut butter sandwich. Then she said she was going to change into something comfortable, but it turned out to be a t-shirt and shorts. When I got a look at her in the t-shirt and shorts, I had the distinct sense that this could land me some jail time if it went any further, so I excused myself and headed North.

Then there are people for whom the phrase “first pick-up” conjures up the smell of grease or that Sunday afternoon they spent installing a new water pump. For them, the first pick-up was a C10 or an F150 or maybe a dual carb Jimmy with a wooden bed. And of course a number of those weren’t strictly legal either.

I’m definitely not one of that crowd, I’m afraid. I’ll share a poem I wrote back in 1996 when I had been cut-off in my ’92 Celica one too many times on Texas Avenue in College Station:

Texan Boy in your pick-up truck

You are the fungus on my butt.

I apologize to sensitive readers and the poetry lovers for that one.

For Thornapple CSA members, last Wednesday was the first pick-up and it meant some wonderful fresh produce (and the sign that more is on the way). Diane and I missed it. We spent Wednesday evening eating Thai food on Overtoom Street in Amsterdam. But we are ready and waiting for all the great pick ups to come!

Paul B. Thompson is the W.K. Kellogg Professor  of Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics at Michigan State University

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