It’s a lazy weekend. Mill’s Produce Stand is a shack on the edge of Dothan, Alabama, sitting behind miles of farmland.
I buy fifty pounds of Slocomb tomatoes.
I can’t think of anything I like more than Slocomb tomatoes. I’m eating one right now, the same way I'd eat a Granny Smith.
I’ve already ruined my shirt. I’m doing forty-five miles per hour, taking in sights.
A car speeds around me, Pennsylvania tags. He must be traveling eighty.
Sorry, pal. This is Wiregrass country. We own the copyright on laziness. And I am on a lazy drive home.
There has been a light rain, the sun is poking from the clouds. There are miles of peanut fields. Firework-stands. Condemned barns.
I pass Slocomb. If you’ve ever wanted to know where God’s summer house is, it’s in Slocomb. A town with not much more than grain silos, a Methodist church, Baptist church, First Assembly of God, and the best tomatoes you can shake a New American Standard Bible at.
I pass three girls on
horseback, riding the highway shoulder. They wear ten-gallon hats. The leader of the group tips her brim to me.
Now I’m behind a truck with a bumper sticker that reads: “What a friend we have in Nick Saban.” He’s driving even slower than me.
Like I said, we invented lazy.
Esto is just over the Alabama-Florida line. There is a combination ice-cream shop and lottery-ticket store.
Lopsided shotgun houses, pretty enough for postcards. Cattle beneath live oaks in green pastures.
A creek bridge with bicycles parked at the railing. A rundown beer-joint named Sam’s Place—within spitting distance from Mount Olive Baptist Church.
I’ve reached Bonifay. Here, there are magnificent homes with feral cats…