Daddy was never frivolous about anything. However, in addition to the crops he grew for our food and to sell to others, he usually planted popcorn which we, his children, enjoyed. Most of the time, his popcorn was the regular kind, stalks with small ears of yellow corn. They looked like miniature ears of the field corn that he grew for food.
The ears of popcorn were left on the stalks until they dried. Then Daddy picked them and we shucked the ears and stored them until we could shell the corn off the cobs and store it for popping. We usually did not shell it all at once; we shelled it as it was needed.
As a truck farmer who sold his vegetables, Daddy was well known for his crops by the residents in the Humble area. Because grocery stores closed by 6 or 7 p.m. during the 1940s and 1950s, and the Jewel Theater, the only theater in Humble, was open until 10 p.m. or later, the Jewel sometimes ran out of some of its concession foods and no stores were open to purchase more. I remember one night when Daddy received a message from the Jewel Theater. We did not have a telephone so someone at the theater called one of our neighbors and asked him to take a message to Daddy that the theater was out of popcorn and needed some to finish the night. Daddy got out the dried ears of popcorn and we quickly shelled them so he could take popcorn to the theater. Because Daddy had grown a crop of popcorn, the Jewel Theater had enough popcorn to finish that evening.
Sometimes Daddy became creative with his popcorn. In addition to the regular yellow ears of popcorn that Daddy grew, he found other types of popcorn to plant. The one I really remember was strawberry popcorn. The stalks looked like regular corn stalks, but the ears of corn were shorter, strawberry-shaped, and the kernels were red. The ears, when picked and shucked, looked like large strawberries. However, when we shelled the kernels from the cobs and popped them, the popcorn looked like any other popcorn. I have never seen strawberry popcorn anywhere else and I have never heard of anyone else growing it.
Although Daddy stopped growing popcorn as his children got older, we never forgot the treat he provided as we were growing up. Popcorn always brings back those wonderful memories from childhood.