Thanksgiving Peaches Essay

I remember the peach-cream I used to eat at my grandmother’s home, up in Missouri.  She had a big orchard, including many fine trees of Elbertas, which, when allowed to ripe properly, are hard to beat. At night, when everything was still, I’d wake up occasionally and hear, in the quiet, the luscious squishy impact of the ripe peaches falling from the laden branches. These peaches, mushy-ripe, and cut up in rich creamy milk, made a frozen delicacy the like of which is not often equaled.

— Robert E. Howard to H.P. Lovecraft, ca. December 1932 —

While I’m waiting for the turkey to turn brown, I thought I’d post a little nugget about one of Robert E. Howard’s favorite foods. The grandmother mentioned above is Alice Wynne, the second wife of George W. Ervin, and Hester Howard’s step-mother. Following the death of his first wife, Sarah Jane Martin, G. W. Ervin moved to Dallas and married Alice Wynne. They moved around a bit, but in 1890 the family had settled in Barry County, Missouri. The next year, they entered some produce in a contest.

The November 25, 1891, Cassville Republican, under the headline “The Barry County Institute,” reported on the Barry County Horticultural Association, saying that, at a fruit and vegetable display, one “Col. G. W. Ervin” of Exeter entered the following: Irish Potatoes, Dried Apples, Dried Peaches (4 samples). His wife entered some canned peaches (Heath Cling and White varieties). They won second place—a year’s subscription to the Purdy Transcript—for the potatoes and first place—$2 cash—for “nicest can of peaches.”

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I guess REH knew what he was talking about.