A Cowboy’s Faith: Too many rotten tomatoes – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Too many rotten tomatoes

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Yes, we have no bananas.” “Yes, we have tomatoes.”

For some peculiar reason whenever arms and hands are overloaded with “stuff” to carry, those two comments come to mind.

“Yes, We Have No Bananas” was a major novelty song hit in 1923. It became the bestselling sheet music in American history.

The tune inspired a follow-up 1930s song “I’ve Got the Yes! We Have No Bananas Blues,” that was not so popular.

Anyway, the grocery store carryout boy’s Mom gave him a brown paper sack to take to the bank every morning. Longtime bank clerk Buddy Prater always said “Yes we have no bananas” when he opened the sack to do the bank work.

It didn’t make much sense to the grocery boy who nodded and grinned. The grocery bag with no bananas only paperwork reminded the banker of the popular song from his younger days.

Now tomatoes are very prolific on the vine in certain highly tended gardens. Feed tubs next to the tack room have tomatoes doing quite well, growing up through wire cages, too. The red fruits taste good on daily cheeseburgers.

There’s really no correlation between no bananas and lots of tomatoes. Still, it comes to mind when remembering picking tomatoes 60 years ago.

Uncle Don and Aunt Luvella always had a large garden with high production due to Luvella’s green thumb. Every October, Don and Lu went deer hunting in Wyoming. Dad and nephew were assigned their monthlong chores feeding nine staghound coyote dogs, birddog Rusty, and Snowball the mutt.

One year their garden was still producing abundantly, and nephew was assigned to “go pick the tomatoes.” A half dozen medium sized sacks were taken along to carry the tomato harvest to the grocery store.

Don’t remember how many plants there were, but they had lots of tomatoes. None had been picked for a long time so there were green tomatoes, nice tomatoes, and rotten tomatoes.

They were carefully harvested and put in the sacks, which soon overflowed. Worst part was the rotten tomatoes seeped through, weakening and tearing the sacks as tomatoes burst out everywhere.

Don’t know how many tomatoes finally got to the store, but that day is still haunting.

Reminded of Isaiah 34:3: Stars will fall out of the sky like overripe, rotting tomatoes in the garden.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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