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A Pop Quiz on the Good Ol’ Days

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 by tamara

Okay folks at the end of this little rambling we are going to take a quiz. There is no study guide for this one so don’t start going to the internet trying to find answers to these questions. The only way you may know these is mainly by how old you are and where you’re from. Not being from the lower end of the state myself, most questions will be from Polk County north. Being from the booming metropolis of Umatilla, Florida I received a lot of my early education from older folks that I worked with as well as lessons learned the hard way. I really couldn’t understand why, after you did something dumb like get a tractor stuck or turn over boxes of fruit because you didn’t tie them down right or anything else along those lines, the wizened old foreman would say, “Hell boy I could have told that was gonna happen!” Well why the hell didn’t you tell me then? Standard answer, “you wouldn’t learned nothing if I had a told ya.”

I really feel sorry for the younger folks that didn’t get the opportunity to work on a hoe crew or irrigation crew moving pipe all summer long. Spray crews weren’t so bad unless you were on the hand spray rig then you had to walk behind a 500 gallon tank with a hose and spray the trees by hand but it was cool because you always sprayed each other. The other spray crew was the speed sprayer crew and don’t think you’d get to run the spray machine, no sir. The spray truck was your chariot that summer; no top or windshield and usually a two by six board for a seat, you learned real quick to keep an old boat cushion handy. And you better be right there to hook up when the spray man needed a fill-up. It didn’t matter if you backed down to the pond to get water and let too much run out of your tank and you had to re-prime themp with a five gallon bucket, you better be on time for that fill-up.

I spoke about getting an education from folks I worked with, for instance let’s take the hoe crew. This crew was made up mostly of high school age boys and they were controlled or guarded you might say by the old gray haired foreman. The purpose of a hoe crew is just what it sounds like, there was not much herbicide used then so most trees had to be hoed around and young trees always had to have a water ring for the water truck. The work was at best miserable. It was hot and dusty, sandspurs and ants and yellow flies – what didn’t bite you stuck you. But we all had a good time because that old foreman was always coming up with something. See we knew that old foreman had been around, done everything, seen everything and was willing to share all of his knowledge with the boys. We learned everything from the facts of life to how to make moonshine and how to drink it too!! If you had a real good foreman he might even bring a few cold beers out on Friday afternoon and you knew better that to tell a soul or the whole crew would be on you like a duck on a June bug. Well enough of my rambling’s lets get on with the quiz.

1. How many remember when Jack’s Bar-B-Que had a counter instead of tables?
2. What about the name of the orange processing plant in Ocala?
3. Who was one of the main buyers for that plant and who was the general manager?
4. Do you remember the owner’s name of the Redwing back in the day?
5. What was the first name that later became Golden Gem.
6. Who started Golden Gem Growers?
7. What was the name of the processing plant in Orlando on Orange Ave?
8. How did fruit buyers get around in the groves before four wheel drive?
9. Who were the original field men for Florida Citrus Mutual?
10. What was the old saying when you were hoeing orange trees and you hit another man’s hoe?
11. Whose family had a packing house in Alturas and one of the family members’ worked for Florida Citrus Mutual?
12. Can you remember what pickers rode in before crew busses? What were they called?
13. What town in the state was said to have more citrus crooks residing there than any place else back in the day?
14. What about the old FMC get together? Man that was some good food! Can you remember how they cooked and any of the old crew?
15. Here is the last one for now. Who said” let’s put an extra orange in every can” thereby moving more product by changing the brix and getting the industry out of a price slump?

Well I hope some of this made you smile or just maybe remember some of the good old days maybe some of you got an education just like me; I know I wouldn’t trade mine for the world.

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