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Nov. 15, 1919: ‘Pawpaws is ripe’

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History Updated: November 17, 2011 - 11:39 PM
 
 
  A yellow-billed cuckoo with the foliage and fruits of a pawpaw. (John James Audubon)
William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette, waxed poetic on “the saddest fruit in the world” in this piece, which was republished in the Minneapolis Tribune.
 

“PAWPAWS IS RIPE”

 
Bill Colyar brought us in our annual pawpaw today, and we have tucked it away where it will do us the most good. We know not how it may affect others, but we have managed one way or another to eat at least a pawpaw a year for the past 50 years. And we have noticed this: Every year that we have eaten a pawpaw we have lived until the following summer. It may not work that way with everyone; but certainly the pawpaws have kept us alive from year to year. It is a great fruit, the pawpaw; a kind of atavistic throw back to a custard pie on its mother’s side and a bullhead catfish on its father’s side, carrying the aroma and consistency of the one and the bones and sins of the father.
 
But it is the saddest fruit in the world, too. It recalls woods that are fields and streets now, times that are gone now, days that are memories and boys who are dead! – Emporia Gazette.

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