Doug from Doug’s Produce

While we were enjoying our cold water at THE gas station in Surry, an old Ford pick-up truck pulled in.

The white hair, bearded man who popped out began to fill the gas cans in the back of his truck while chatting animatedly with the convenience store attendant. We watched these friends conversing with an ease that only comes with repetition. Then, we noticed that there was the non-business end of a rifle sticking up in the back corner of the pick-up truck bed, as if it were there for easy access or to be used as a pole onto which various items could be tied. So, as non-threateningly as possible, I approached the two gentlemen and asked if I could take his photo and post it on our blog. He proudly responded that he was already on Google “settin’ in his front yard on his Lazy-Boy” and invited us to stop by on our way back to the ferry. We said we would and then headed off for the remainder of our Surry loop.

Doug has all the comforts of home under a tent in his front yard.

Doug has all the comforts of home under a tent in his front yard.

And yes, on the way back to the ferry we did venture down Marina Drive to Doug’s Produce –and sure enough, we found Doug “settin' ” in his Lazy-Boy chair under a tent in his front yard with his wife Trish and several tables that displayed his latest harvest.

There we found the most flavorful peaches we ever had, some delicious tomatoes and two kinds of peppers --one more dangerously painful than the next. Doug showed us where the habanero pepper had burned his finger and so now he refused to touch them anywhere but the tips of their stems. The other pepper, I didn’t catch the name, he swore was easy to eat.

Delicious hot peppers and tomatoes we sampled at Doug’

Delicious hot peppers and tomatoes we sampled at Doug’

After a bit of encouragement, Claudio took Doug at his word and took a bite. Let’s just say that Claudio started sweating and tearing up like I had never seen before. Doug and Trish rocked back and forth in their chairs laughing. After bragging about his 1,000,000-mile pick-up truck and sharing stories about his pre-retirement life where he worked at the local nuclear power station in addition to having served as Richard Petty’s back-up driver, Doug was kind enough to share 2 bottles of water with us for the remainder of our journey. As we biked off, we heard them return to their never-ending argument over which one of them was going to get up and change the channel, because yes, there were also a TV, a fishing pole, a stove/oven and a refrigerator under Doug’s Produce tent.