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"Wata'me-eh lo-on," the vendor chanted with undulations ending in a high note. Unhurried clip-clop, clip-clop. Then in a moderate lower tone, ”Craw-aw-fi-ish.” Clip-clop. Clippety-clop. Then, in a higher pitch, “I got sweet 'taters, lima beans, and fresh okra.” Then everything halted. No songs, no clops. The vendor had a buyer. Soon, the routine started up again. Just as I was about to burst with excitement, he reached our doorstep.

Grandma would send me out to the cart. "Mornin', Missy. How you doin’?"

"I'm fine, Sir. You?”

He let out a vigorous laugh. “I’m just fine, Honey. Whacha’ need today?”

“We need tomatos, okra, and lima beans, please."

"Sure thing, Sweetheart." After picking the biggest, ripest vegetables, he placed the produce in a brown bag. He'd wink. And sometimes I winked back.

I stepped back and watched as the peddler gently snapped the horse’s reins.  Clip-clop. Clippety-clop. Amazed, I stood watching as the wagon slowly made it's way to the next stop. “I got pee-ee-ches ripe off the vine. Yes, M'am." Clip-clop. Clip-clop.


<<A typical horse-drawn vegetable cart of the era.  

Grandma and Grandpa's house in the French Quarter.>>