Random Thoughts: Tomatoes show me that fairies must be real


By Travis Mounts, managing editor

As we get older, our ability to believe in mystical creatures tends to fade.
I, for one, continue to believe, and I have proof. I will share that with you in a few sentences.
Late last week, my sister-in-law shared online that one of my 5-year-old nephews has a “wiggly tooth.” That means the time will soon come for a visit from the Tooth Fairy. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Tooth Fairy was paying regular visits to my house.
Things were busy for the Tooth Fairy back then. Sometimes she would miss our house on the first night, so my boys would have to put a tooth back under their pillow for a second night. Or the money left behind somehow “got lost” in their covers overnight.
They would come to me disappointed, and after I ran into my bedroom for a moment for no good reason, we would dig through the covers and find the money that had been left.
As for Santa Claus, there is a great old radio bit from around 1953 that features the voices of the late, great voice actors Stan Freberg and Daws Butler. It’s called “Christmas Dragnet,” and is a holiday tale based on the police drama “Dragnet.”
The piece tells the story of a man named Grudge who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and has his doubts about Toledo. By the end, Grudge believes although he remains unsure about Toledo. The other thing we learn, in a great running gag, is that most folks call them green onions but they’re really scallions.
(As the holidays get near, Google “Christmas Dragnet” and have a listen. It’s a timeless piece.)
On Sunday morning, the doorbell rang while I was in the shower. It was early, at least by my standards, so I took my time. Eventually, I got done and got dressed, and went to the front door to see if there was anything to be seen.
And there was. Sitting on my front step was a bag full of tomatoes with a handful of peppers mixed in.
You see, the Tomato Fairy lives next door to me, and two or three times a summer, I get a visit. The last visit resulted in two bags of tomatoes and a third with nothing but jalapeno peppers.
I made sure to pay forward my good fortune after the last visit. A fresh batch of salsa went to the office. I also cooked up a huge pot of made-from-scratch tomato sauce. There was a big office lunch, and I sent some with another co-worker who missed the lunch. More went into the freezer, and just this weekend (on the same day the Tomato Fairy came back) I sent some spaghetti sauce home with both of my boys. They will tell you that of all the things I cook, homemade spaghetti sauce is what I do best.
In a day and age where our belief systems are being regularly tested, it’s nice to have your faith renewed, in whatever form that may take.