Peaches and Dreams

The smell of peaches awakens my mind, brings to surface things forgotten.  Oh, the sweet, sweet smell of peaches.


When I was growing up there was only one big business in our tiny town:  Cherokee Canning Company.  In the spring and summer they canned O’sage peaches.  And as summer led into fall, they canned pimentos.  (To be honest, I have no clue what they did the rest of the year.)  For many years, everyone that grew up in my small town worked at the cannery.  A rite of passage, so to speak.  The perfect summer job(if you don’t mind wearing a hair net).  But by the time I came along, this was no longer the case.  I think it was just too dangerous for teenagers and they proved a higher liability than they were worth.

When it was peach time, the sorters would go through and pull out the blemished peaches.  Crate after crate of peaches, dumped out to be sorted.  Some peaches, obviously rotten, were simply tossed.  But those with slight blemishes were put aside for the locals.  Some small imperfection that wouldn’t fare well in the canning process didn’t deter us from snapping up the ones that were cast aside.


After my grandmother retired from her work at the bank, she was our primary babysitter.  She drove the afternoon carpool during the school year and kept my brother and I at her house in the summer.

While we had to endure countless episodes of Young & the Restless, we also went swimming and on adventures of all kinds.  Short day trips to the Uncle Remus museum and the Whistle Stop Cafe were not uncommon.  (And…why, yes…we are reeeeally S’uthern.)

We knew not to ask about going anywhere on Wednesdays, though.  We had church on Wednesday night and had to make sure there was plenty of time to make the Peach Pie for family night supper at church. (If you haven’t tried this recipe, you’re really missing out!)

Mr. Albert(one of the cannery owners) and my Mama Jo had an agreement of sorts.  He’d provide the peaches and she’d make the peach pie.


I miss the days when a box of slightly bruised fresh peaches would show up on the doorstep.


Canned Peaches.
Fresh Peaches.
Peach Ice Cream.
Peaches and milk with a little sprinkle of sugar.
Peach Pie.

I love ’em all.
Just don’t dare try to give me pickled peaches.  Bleh!
(My brother will happily take those!)

5 Responses to Peaches and Dreams
  1. Aunt Dianne
    July 5, 2010 | 2:41 pm

    I worked in that peach cannery. The reason it was not longer an option for your generation to work there was not a safety issue but rather not many teenagers wanted to do that kind of work. Workers were bused in and eventually the company was sold and canning was moved to another place. However, Cherokee brings back lots of great memories – I met Uncle Billy there. I still make that yummy peach pie – soooo easy.

  2. Heather
    July 5, 2010 | 2:41 pm

    That’s sort of what I consider myself now…a slightly blemished peach! 😉

  3. Mama
    July 5, 2010 | 5:56 pm

    The Bloodworths’ gave us lots of peaches. It’s no wonder you love them. I ate SO many of them when I was pregnant with you!! I still love them to this day…all except the pickled ones.. like you!!

  4. Liz Sanders
    July 5, 2010 | 10:58 pm

    Oh how I love a good peach! Trey and Katie are here for a while and they came in with a bag full from the roadside stand and I just had to eat the one that was a little bruised and it as perfection! If there was a peach perfume I would wear it for sure. I love the smell. You know I think our grandmothers did the same things with us when we were children. I loved going to the Uncle Remus Museum! I wonder if it’s still open, because I would love to take the kids to throw some cotton seeds for a few wishes. (Guess I should click that link!)

  5. Grandma
    July 6, 2010 | 3:33 pm

    Just got back from DC. Just looking at the peach trees, they look to be about ready for picking! ;o)