now that I look at the picture a bit closer I see that the caption says "Read" but at first glance what I saw was "rea". it was the letters "rea" that triggered another memory, taking me back to the summers of my youth. every year, at almost time to go back to school, an invitation would come in the mail from the REA (that would the Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, a member of the Rural Electric Association) inviting us to thee annual membership bar-b-cue. It was a feast and not to be missed. As I recall, it was held at Bulldog field in Tahoka. The line was usually long. shuffling forward toward nirvana was pure torture as their was no escaping the smells of mesquite wood fires and secret sauce. Of course there was all the fixin's as well, potato salad, coleslaw, cobbler for desert and sweet tea to drink. i'll never forget balancing that plate heavy with tasty goodies while looking for a place on the field to enjoy the spread. why we didn't take a seat in the stands, I don't know. perhaps because climbing up the stairs there was too much of a risk of dumping the sumptuous meal that had been keenly anticipated for weeks. I remember that more than once the grass was home to hordes of tiny green grasshoppers, smaller than a grain of rice. one had to be ever alert lest there be a little extra "treat" with that next bite.
that was the electric co-op-- but another highlight before heading back to school was the annual Wells Farmer's Co-op (a cotton gin) watermelon feed. one or more horse troughs were filled with water, ice and watermelons; dozens and dozens of icy cold, red and yellow meated watermelons. sliced into crescent shaped wedges, I dove smile first into slice after slice of melon until my tummy looked like i'd swallowed one of those babies whole. one could literally eat watermelon until, if you ate even one more bite, there was a better than even chance you could literally explode. those were the good some good times my friend! gotta love them co-ops, my friends!