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53 Years of Watermelon Sunday
Hundreds Come Out For A Summer Tradition
August 14, 2023

ay Bond tried to cut watermelons, she said, “but they told me to sit here.” ‘They’ are her family and friends, standing at the nearby table covered in juice and red and yellow watermelon slices.

Fay Bond sits to greet her visitors.

There’s likely a good reason Fay’s family wanted her to sit in the shade and just chat – she’ll celebrate her 100 birthday in September.

Fay is stationed at the end of the line, sat in a chair and talking to two men, each holding a slice of watermelon.

While most watermelon was the classic red, there were some yellow slices available.

At the front of the line, the next person is greeted with a question: “Is this your first time through?” A ‘yes’ answer is rewarded with the sound of a hand-held tally counter as a volunteer says, “Well, that makes it four hundred.”

On the lawn are tents, tables and chairs. Some are occupied, some recently vacated. People stand in the shade – where they can find it – catching up with each other or meeting new residents and visitors.

Hat, shades, and watermelon.

Fay and her family have hosted a watermelon social every year for the last 53 years.

It’s a free event and no watermelon goes to waste. Visitors have a choice of mostly red or some yellow watermelon. When they’re done, the rinds are collected in a tarp and saved. Over the next week or so, they’ll be fed to the turtles living in the creek next to Fay’s home.

It happens every year on the second Sunday in August: the Bond family Watermelon Social.

Sharing in the shade.
The Bond family and friends man the watermelon station while Fay chats nearby.
Humans are not the only ones showing up hungry.
An ongoing collectoin – rinds become turtle food.
Checking out – and feeding – the hungry snapping turtles
Trying something new – a yellow watermelon.
The Giro girls tuck in.
Hanging outside the Bond home.

Posted Monday August 14, 2023 by Allison DeWeese

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