Maxine Jones and Sam the Cabbage

July 1, 2008 - Maxine Jones and Sam the Cabbage at Branan Lodge in Blairsville, Georgia

Max (Maxine) Jones will remember the spring of 2008 as the year of her first giant cabbage. She grew the large plant in a pot on her balcony at Branan Lodge at Wesley Mountain Village in Blairsville, Georgia. It was recently harvested although Maxine tells the story a little differently.

Max says, "My friend Wesley grew a big cabbage last year and gave me one of his little plants this spring. I named the cabbage Sam. I used Miracle Grow on him but talking to him every day is what really made him take off. I nurtured him and in return he grew and grew."

She continues, "Sam really loved my balcony. I guess he received just enough sunshine to grow big and strong. Some of my friends said it was time that I ate him. I couldn't stand to see him get his head chopped off so while I was at work they did the deed. When I got home, Evelyn and some other ladies had cooked him up with new potatoes, carrots, and corned beef. We ate Sam at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday in the dining room."

Max adds, "While growing, Sam stayed in the lobby for a while. People thought his leaves were beautiful. If we had decided not to eat him, he would just have rotted."

Max Jones works at United Community Bank in Blairsville, Georgia where she has been employed for nine years. "I graduated from Union County High School in 1955. There was nothing to do here then so I moved to California where I worked for Marin Municipal Water District in Corte Madera. I came back home after 35 years. I grew up on John Smith Road in Union County. The road was named after daddy's brother, Uncle John (and Aunt Pearl) Smith. My parents, Luther Mood Smith and Arra Botts Smith, were farmers. We had a milk cow and everything we needed to survive. I was the baby, and boy was I a baby. My mom was 40 and my dad was 47 when I was born. I was the last of seven children. They are all gone now. My last sister, Evelyn Hogsed, died on March 6, 2008 ."

Max Jones is a friendly and highly spirited woman. She is witty and full of surprises. I asked her if she minded if I wrote about her "cabbage named Sam". I mentioned that people may think she is crazy for naming a cabbage. "I don't care if they think I'm crazy or not," she replied. "It was all a whole lot of fun and I'm going to do it again next year!"