July 3, 2002 - "Washington Parish Watermelon"

What could make a July 4th watermelon from Washington Parish even sweeter? To-your-door service, that's what.

The ripe watermelon makes a delicious "thunk" as Reggie Stogner into the waiting arms of 11-year-old Alex Kennedy. The two are loading a big pickup truck with Washington Parish Melons.

Reggie points to the pile of melons nearby. "I bought this whole pile so I can pick out the ones I want right now. They're going to be all mine anyway."

Where are they headed?

Reggie says, "Wesley Ray, Angie and Varnado."

They don't have a store or a stand, not even a good parking place alongside a highway. Reggie and Alex's way of selling watermelon harkens back to an older time.

"It's called peddling," Alex explains. "We go from house to house and knock on doors and ask them if they want to buy a watermelon."

Soon the pair of itinerant produce men are knocking on doors in the rural community of Angie in Northeast Washington Parish. "Do y'all want to buy a watermelon?" Alex asks at each door.

Soon money and melons are changing hands.

"People are usually at their houses," says Alex, "And they usually want to buy a watermelon, so we come to them, and they usually say yes."

The old times are alive and well in northeast Washington Parish -- with a visit from the Watermelon Man.