The Cornucopia: an autobiographical note I think that the produce stand on 10th Street between Olney and Tuxedo is the best shopping venue in Indianapolis. It is a rare day that I don"t stop by this cornucopia built of 2-by-4"s and plywood, trimmed in nylon tarps, utterly lacking pretension, to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the employees there once dubbed me "Peaches-Man" because of my passion for peaches, and the name stuck. "Hey Peaches-Man, you"re late today!" I"ll hear if I arrive a bit later than usual. "That is Peaches-Man," the owner once whispered to a new employee, who examined me warily, not having the slightest clue what a Peaches-Man was. "Peaches-Man, I know you like nectarines, too, so you better try some of these white nectarines I got a special deal on this morning," the owner says. For me, the produce stand is a bulwark against the anonymity and anomie of our fragmented society. It fosters a sense of community that the money poured into a redevelopment scheme could never buy. It is, as they say, organic. There are always four or five people hanging around the stand, examining the fruits and vegetables, tossing and catching apples in their hands like baseballs, thumping watermelons, gently squeezing grapes. Buying fruits and vegetables is, after all, a tactile art. Sometimes the conversation turns philosophic. "Peaches-Man," one of the employees, an older fellow with slicked-back hair and arms covered in tattoos, asked me one day, "whatcha gonna do when peach season is over?" "I really don"t know," I replied with sadness. "Maybe you should buy a whole bunch of peaches and freeze "em," he said. "I just really don"t know what I"ll do," I said, looking off into the distance. Then the fateful day arrived, gray and autumnal; as I stood at the stand paying for a bunch of bananas, my buddy said to me, "Well, Peaches-Man, peach season is over. What now?" "I really don"t know," I said. An old codger standing next to me sniffing strawberries, the end of his goatee forming a gentle curl like the wettened tip of a paintbrush, turned to me and said, "Don"t worry, sonny, the peaches come back every year."

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