There are many of you still out there that will smile and have fond memories of your own when I mention the old Render Hill Peach Orchards, in Gay, Ga. For many years during my youth, Sen. Hill was a legend and larger than life in those rural days. I do not know much about his political career other than Daddy thought he was Gold and that was good enough for me.
back to the peaches. Mother loved fresh peach ice cream and as you
know, back in those days fruits and vegetables were seasonal, no going
to the supermarket and buying anything you wanted any time of the year.
As I write this, it seems that that made it all the better. Having to
wait for just the right time to get to go to the orchard and pick tree
ripened peaches that could not wait another day to be harvested. The
fact that you could eat all the peaches that you wanted while you were
in the orchard and only pay for the ones you brought through the gate
made Mr. Hill an even bigger giant in my eyes.
We would all load up
in that 1952 Chevy in the middle of summer, roll the windows down and
hope to catch a breeze. It seemed like hours to get there, but was
actually less than 45 minutes. We kids would get out and start 'pickin'
and eatin' as soon as we went through the gates. We would have juice
running down both arms and dripping of both elbows. Mother would always
thoughtfully pack wet wash cloths and water to drink.
Back home, we
would set the hand cranked ice cream freezer at the end of the high
porch so that the salty water would run off the edge. I never saw an
electric freezer until I bought one as an adult, years later.
know the kind we had, like every one else in Hogansville, with the
exception of probably Mr. Hines at the Bank. It was a cedar bucket with
the galvanized drum. The crank system was cast iron with either a red or
green wooden handle. It took hardly any time at all to freeze the
contents into ice cream, but it seems like it took forever for it to
'ripen', or get hard all the way through the canister.
would usually wonder off(but not too far) into the front yard to play
during the waiting period. When it was announced that the ice cream was
ready, we would each grab a bowl and spoon and get ready for a Summer
The first bowl always, ALWAYS, was dipped by Daddy and went
to Mother. She would take a spoonful and the look on her face told it
No, we never had homemade peach ice cream on Mother's
Day(way too early in the year), but every time we made ice cream, it was
like Mother's Day, because Daddy always gave her royal treatment.
Just another thought about my Mother on this day.