Yesterday, the balmy Autumn-like morning inspired a trip to the Peekskill, NY, farmers’ market to check out the harvest and, possibly, come away with some video or images of the city–which is quite a bustling place on Saturday mornings. I drove to Peekskill tuned to WNYC, and two of my favorite voices–Ella & Satchmo–filled the air with “Autumn in New York” (for once, Jonathan Schwartz wasn’t playing Frank Sinatra). Everything was coming up roses, until my camera’s battery was found to be on its last gasp, and I was caught trying to pay for $11 worth of peaches and potatoes with 8 singles.
Unaware this embarrassment was about to unfold, I asked the farmer, “Where’s Mifflinburg, PA?” after reading the print on the truck behind the stand. “Four hours away!” he said. And the conversation went on, while I counted my singles. He and his children get up at the ungodly hour of 1:30 am for the trip. “I love it!” he assured me, and his kids have no complaints: they sleep soundly on the road. When I finally said to him, “I’ll have to leave the peaches behind. I only have $8,” he smiled and shrugged, “It happens. You’ll owe me $3 next time!” he said. “What is your name?” I had to ask, and wanted to know. “Jonie!” “Thank you, Jonie!
An ATM machine was only a block away, so I didn’t make Jonie wait a week for my dues. The beauty of it is that Jonnie had no way of knowing if I would ever be back. In fact, this was only my second time at that market this season. I’m a regular patron of the Cold Spring market, further north along the Hudson–where we get to have Block Factory black-bean tamales and all-fruit Go-Go Pops for lunch. But I doubt there is another Jonie in Peekskill or Cold Spring.
My battery let me get away with one this one image of Jonie at work: