Pat Shingleton: "Grapes and Gramps..."
Grapes have advanced to one of the "top crops" for Louisiana. The Muscadine variety is popular with the Felicianas and St. Helena Parish offering tastings throughout the year. Concord Grapes were a staple for us in our younger years in Pennsylvania. Residents would sink posts, connect bailing wire and plant the young vines in late February or early March. Our vines were very old, producing enough sweet grapes for consumption and for our Mom to "can" jars of grape jelly. Our neighbor, Lee Whitmire, had a larger, more developed arbor that enclosed a portion of his backyard. His arbor seemed to be always loaded with grapes and also served as a quiet, comforting and inviting space. I remember those September days of sitting next to my grandfather, under the arbor's shade, in late summer. They would solve the problems of the world while I ate fresh grapes.