They call him the Watermelon Man

Published 8:50 pm Wednesday, August 5, 2009

As some of you may have seen in Tuesday’s edition of the News-Herald, our Food and Beverage Page was all about watermelons.

It was only fair to feature the picnic staple, considering Aug. 3 was National Watermelon Day (and yes, in case you are wondering, it seems that any inanimate object can have its own day).

Along with statistics, recipes and watermelon trivia, the page also featured a question-and-answer brief with Rudolph Edwards.

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And just who is Edwards?

Well, he is none other than The Watermelon Man.

Everyone in downtown Suffolk has probably seen Edwards a few times in their daily commutes around the city. Edwards is the guy who sells watermelons from the back of his truck in the parking lot of the West Suffolk Shopping Center. Almost every day, Edwards loads up his truck with his latest crop of watermelons, drives to the far back row of the parking lot, sets up his giant tent and helps provide passersby with the watermelon of their choosing.

Edwards said he had been selling watermelons all his life, and his friends actually refer to him as The Watermelon Man.

As nicknames go, that one has quite a few syllables and could be a mouthful, but it does drive home the point.

But what was most surprising is that The Watermelon Man is not such a watermelon fan. He said he likes watermelon well enough, but he doesn’t eat it all the time. He only really enjoys a couple of varieties of the fruit, but does not eat it on a regular basis.

Anyway, Mr. Edwards was very kind and answered any question asked of him, and if anyone would like to meet The Watermelon Man face-to-face, he will be out in the parking lot waiting for you.

Also featured on the Food page this week was a list of the top 10 “Must-Have Kitchen Utensils and Gadgets” that was posted on the Web site The total list has 25 items, but before we posted the list to the page, we all took guesses at what the number one “must have” was.

My guess was a classic, a sure thing in my mind — can opener.

But, alas, can opener was not number one (That honor went to shelf liners, which by the way, I have all sorts of debate against. Shelf liners are a nicety, not a necessity). But more shocking and a bit of a spoiler alert, a can opener did not even make the Top 25. What beats a can opener, you ask? Wait for next week’s list to find out.