First and Last Taste of Cantaloupe for the Year

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 14, 1911: He passed by here this morning, but I didn’t see him though. Miss Carolyn was over this evening. I had a taste of several cantaloupes this evening. They were the first taste I had of them yet, and I guess it will be the last. Too bad, isn’t it.

A hundred years ago green-fleshed cantaloupes were more popular than they are today. ( Photo source: Wikemedia Commons)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

In 1911 people ate by the seasons, and the various fruits and vegetables were wonderful fleeting tastes. Since Grandma had her first and last taste of cantaloupe for the year a hundred years ago on this date, I guess that the cantaloupes in the Muffly garden didn’t do well that year.

Maybe it had been too dry (or wet), or maybe the Spring had been too cool and the seeds hadn’t germinated well, or maybe pests had damaged the plants and they produced few melons, or maybe the soil was not well-suited for  melon raising.

A hundred years ago people ate by the seasons–sometimes there was a surplus of some fruits and vegetables (and everyone tired of the food) and other times a crop did poorly–and people savored every bite. I bet that when Grandma wrote this entry that she was already looking forward to the 1912 cantaloupe season.


“He” probably refers to a guy Grandma had a crush on. In other recent entries she referred to B. and B.G.—but never used a complete name.

I have no idea who Carolyn was.

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