Oh Fudge

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 19, 2004

On a weather perfect Saturday we headed for the Agricultural Research gardens on Diamond Springs Road to attend the 2004 Community Gardening Festival presented by the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners. Booths of various kinds were spread around among the garden sites, some selling plant materials, others educational.

When we visit such an event we immediately head for the booth with the largest crowd surrounding it. Sure enough, Suffolk Master Gardeners had the most people milling about the tent and the main interest was peanuts. They were giving away the unshelled roasted variety by the handful or bag, and actual peanut plants for free. Why not…most had never seen the mother of a peanut or knew they developed under ground. Many will not discover this fact until they dig it up thinking it had died. Our local Master Gardeners continue to spread the word that Amedeo Obici made famous.

A few questioned my use of the word &uot;fudge&uot; when referring to descriptions of stopping places in tourist brochures across the land. But if you have traveled a bit you know what I mean. All of you have been bamboozled once or twice and left the site rolling your eyes. I recall my disappointment upon arriving at &uot;Bacon’s Castle.&uot; There wasn’t even a drawbridge or a moat…just some old furniture like my grandmother’s. But it did add to my culture and made two lonely tour guides happy.

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If it’s the word &uot;fudge&uot; that troubles you think of it this way. Obici Hospital, which should be named Louise Obici Memorial Hospital, has a commercial insisting that every square inch is devoted to &uot;healing.&uot;

Well let’s see, they measure the space in an automobile trunk by counting the number of ping-pong balls they can stuff in it. How many of them do you suppose they could stuff into the Obici atrium? That esoteric hall is designed for walking, which I suppose could be considered a form of healing. But I’m inclined to say &uot;bunk,&uot; or at least say they are fudging in their commercial.

Quite often you see big white signs along the highway marking a nearby spot famous for some event back in our history, probably a battle of some kind, usually between us and the English, or between us and us. (See Lincoln-Douglas debates) That sign could refer to huge acreage or a table where two opposing officers signed a document. Now that sign is not fudging, but the local tourist brochure may not have indicated you would see just a white sign, and you may have expected cannons, tents, maybe even a re-enactment.

Being new to Virginia back in 1970 we traveled around the state and were fascinated by the amount of land devoted to battles and tied up for eternity. Most we had never heard of because as Yankees, we have a tendency to forgive and forget. It made me wonder how it would be if Europe had tied up huge tracts of land where our battles with the Germans took place. That would include all of France, not a bad idea, and a good part of Germany.

They haven’t even put a sign in the Ardennes forest, or along the Rhine, there is no white sign where the Germans over-ran us in the battle of the Bulge. They could have designated half of Europe as sacred battleground. I clearly remember being in battles over major cities but they are not even written up in published books. France has dedicated huge tracts to the American military; they are called cemeteries.

Our home is not at all famous but our land could be. We live in what used to be called Milner’s Town. It was shelled by the British during the Revolutionary War, and shelled again by Blue Bellies as they plowed their ships up the Nansemond River, taking pot shots at everything they saw along the shore. I think Lynette B could arrange a big white sign down at the end of our driveway. &uot;In 1860 on this spot not much happened.&uot; That’s what I mean, a perfect example of no fudge

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com.