One of my theme songs in life is from a beloved television show from my youth that aired on Saturday nights, Hee Haw. It was the best, those were my people until I grew older & discovered that Jerry, George, Elaine, & Kramer were really my people. Hee Haw had a group of fellas that sang a song where the tune was so catchy, you found yourself singing it on non-Saturday nights! Gloom, Despair, Agony on Me! Now if you’re under the age of 40, you may not of been lucky enough to know the song, click here to get catch a listen. It’s a good one, fits my life/The Berrys life to a tee! https://youtu.be/BkzE23pyME4
Most of you know Lee & I own & operate the world’s largest strawberry in Ellerbe, NC also known as The Berry Patch. All small business owners have had to face the same challenges like finding reliable, good help, maintaining a customer base, & financial hardships. All of this has been true for us, but one of the main issues we have had to face is what I call the Bermuda Triangle of dry land which is The Berry Patch existence itself. The Berry Patch was formerly at a location on family land a mile south just down the road from where we are now, but due to highway construction, we were forced to move the big berry in 2012. We purchased a plot of land that is oddly enough in the shape of a triangle. I didn’t know at the time that I would one day allude to the world’s largest strawberry as the Bermuda Triangle of dry land! I refer to our business as the Bermuda Triangle at least 10 times a week. If you’ve never heard of the Triangle, just know that nothing good comes from it! The B.T. is in the Atlantic Ocean. It is said that ships & aircrafts mysteriously disappear when using that route of travel. Unexplained circumstances is a good way to describe what occurs in the Atlantic Ocean & at The Berry Patch! The only difference between Devil’s Triangle & our place is there has only been one death at our place…to date.
Our business & farm has been plagued by troublemakers, break-ins, car troubles, thievery, one death, did I mention car troubles? We are a “berry” busy place from spring through the end of August & we love it. We see all types of interesting people, I love to be busy, the hustle & bustle that goes along with it, is my jam. With a busy business, we often (very often, like daily) see crazy town! I think it’s my crazy energy that draws these people to us. Between my crazy town magnetism & the Bermuda Triangle of dry lands magnetism, their is an invisible pull that draws the people in. The big strawberry & the produce stand have been broken into countless times. Once, the ice cream shop was broken into twice in one week by the same person. People drive through our entrance gates all the time even though we have orange hazard cones placed well in front of the gates. The drivers run through them & keep on going, they don’t think twice about our repair costs. Back in January, I wrote a blog about Jack going to the eye doctor, while we were there, someone’s truck rolled backwards through our wooden fence, busted it to pieces. There was a passenger inside the truck when it hit the fence, I bet she thought that was fun! Did they offer to pay for repairs, of course not. Summer of 2019 was particularly devastating on one of our farmlands. Lee grew a field of hemp, a group of lowlifes stole & stole & stole from that field over a period of about two weeks. They were caught & prosecuted thanks to cameras. It even made the Morons in the News segment on my favorite podcast, Bob & Sheri to my surprise. North Carolina’s very own Bermuda Triangle brings a host of car problems from people running out of gas, dead batteries, flat tires, & totally dead cars on more than a weekly basis. And of course none of these people know how to manage these problems with their cars. Thankfully, our full-time mechanic Lee Berry does! There’s some sort of magnetic pull at The Berry Patch, just like in the Atlantic! Only a few months ago, a car was abandoned at our business, the man who owned it was later declared missing. Sadly, he was found deceased across the woods from our parking lot.
The latest series of unfortunate events occurred only a week ago. We are actually very fortunate to have two standing buildings to operate out of between this story & the Corona! Last Friday afternoon (04.03.2020), I left The Berry Patch around 2pm to pickup Ava after she completed her homeschooling session. As I was leaving the business, I saw a woman walking on the side of road pilfering through roadside trash, like she was reading papers & then throwing them back down. I only thought it weird, I didn’t realize this gal would be impacting our lives 12 hours later. As Lee was opening up the business the following Saturday morning, he noticed a few odd things. One, a partially eaten cantaloupe was thrown on the cement, a jar of jelly had been opened & eaten, some clothes were scattered about, & as he was inspecting for other abnormalities, he noticed our big yellow hauling truck was gone. To answer your questions, yes we have an alarm system & a camera system. After contacting the sheriffs department, Lee also noticed that the above mentioned gal turned off some of the breakers that gives power to some of our deep freezers, thankfully we did not have ice cream in them at that time. One of the deputies that was helping with the crime suggested it might be the woman I saw on the side of the road the same day, said he ran her out of town. Well, he ran her right to us! I would love to know what she did for 12 straight hours because there is nothing between where I saw her & The Berry Patch but a few houses. Any way, the Richmond County Sheriff’s department sent Rockingham PD over to this gals house to see if big yellow was there. She was stepping out of it as they pulled up! The woman that was responsible for all this is a known drug addict bless her heart. Lee would have to forget & leave the key in this truck that same night! What was so wild about the whole story is as the sheriff’s department was watching playback of our security cameras, they noticed she kept circling around the building. She drove around in a circle for over 2 hours trying to figure out how to get out of our driveway & wasted a 1/2 a tank of gas! Now you understand my statement about being fortunate to have both the farm stand & ice cream shop still standing! The woman that did this was so strung out she couldn’t figure it out. There was damage to our truck, of course we will have to pay for it since she won’t be able to, just like we did the fence that those sorry rascals tore down & never offered to pay for. It’s part of owning a business, but doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow.
Why is it that we continue to get hammered? Is it so that I can write more blogs? To teach us a lesson? To give us something to laugh about when times get tough with Jack? Whatever the reasons, I am just glad that we can laugh at most of them. Next time you see Lee around town, ask him if he can fix your flat tire, change your oil, build a fence, or take his truck for a joyride! Or just take your chances & come shop with us at the Bermuda Triangle of dry land, we’d love to have you! Who knows, you might have a story to write yourself about it!