The Man We All Called Pop-Pop Bob

Everyone who knew him, loved him. He was so personable, loving, and outgoing. He smiled all the time. He loved his community, baseball, church, fire hall, 4-H, the DE State Fair, and family. But above all, he loved his grandkids. For almost 35 years, he was a second dad to me. I loved to hear him talk about growing up in Hickman, making scrapple with his dad, and his time working on base.

Even though he wasn’t a farmer, Pop-Pop had a love for agriculture and farm crops. This stemmed from his dad (Floyd Messick), owning a produce stand in Hickman and driving truck crops to the city with Mom-Mom’s dad (Hugh Vincent). This may help explain Pop-Pop’s role as Superintendent of the Farm Products building at the DE State Fair each year. One of the ways I connected with him more recently was through the Milford Farmer’s Market. For the past 10 years, he showed up on Saturday morning in Milford to help my Mom sell produce. He would sit in a chair in the back and cup vegetables, while customers sat with him. He loved the conversation, hugs, and smiles from so many familiar faces he saw each week. I joked that I’m not sure who was more popular-our sweet corn or Pop-Pop Bob. But in recent weeks I know for a fact now, it was Pop-Pop. Thank you so much for all the concerned questions about him from customers in recent weeks.

So here’s to the man who painted my bedroom Punky Brewster colors (each wall was a different color), took us grandkids to the beach every Labor Day and taught me how stand a wave, let us celebrate the last day of school by inviting friends over to swim in his pool, taught me how to drive on the Nine Foot Road well before I was 16, came to all my high school ball games, drove me to Springfield, MA for a FFA contest when no one else would, loved to hug and squeeze me, and danced with me at my wedding. No matter what I did, he loved me unconditionally and made me feel important. He will never be forgotten and I’m proud to call him mine. Baby Wright may never meet him but I will be sure to teach him about the loving man we all called “Pop-Pop Bob”.

Robert Eugene Messick

April 8, 1930 – June 28, 2014

This sailboat was filled with sand and had our names on it.

This sailboat was next to Pop-Pop’s pool in his backyard. He filled it with sand and had our names on the side.

This pretty much sums him up.

May 1984. This pretty much sums him up.

Sitting on the top row of Woodbridge Elementary School bleachers. I have no idea what we were watching. I am the one underneath the pom-pom. (Christy, Derek, Pop-Pop, Devon, Danna)

Sitting on the top row of Woodbridge Elementary School bleachers. I have no idea what we were watching but doesn’t he look like a big kid sitting there with us? Can you guess who is underneath the pom-pom? (Christy, Derek, Pop-Pop, Devon, Danna)

In the old 4-H Building at the fair. Janelle and I just gave our sewing demonstration. (Pop-Pop Bob, Janelle, Christy, Mom-Mom Ruth and Mom-Mom Ann)

In the old 4-H Building at the fair. Janelle and I just gave our sewing demonstration. (Pop-Pop Bob, Janelle, Christy, Mom-Mom Ruth and Mom-Mom Ann)

This was at Girl's State in 1997. He came to see me sworn in as Girl's State Auditor. (Danna, Pop-Pop Bob, Christy, Pop-Pop Bill)

This was at Girl’s State in 1997. He came to see me sworn in as Girl’s State Auditor. (Danna, Pop-Pop Bob, Christy, Pop-Pop Bill)

He recovered well from heart surgery in 1999.

He recovered well from heart surgery in 2001.

Delaware State Fair in 2002. He loved to stick his tongue out at us.

Delaware State Fair in 2002. He loved to stick his tongue out at us.

 

He loved the DE State Fair.

He loved the DE State Fair and served as Superintendent of the Farm Products building.

The was at the Milford Farmer's Market one year. He loved to help us every Saturday morning. And the customers loved him.

This was at the Milford Farmer’s Market in 2008. He loved to help us sell produce every Saturday morning. He helped Mom initially, when she started at the market 14 years ago. The customers loved to see him and often sat down with him or gave him hugs. Thank you to all the customers who have asked for him this year.

Dec. 2008. Our annual shot of all the grandkids.

Dec. 2008. Our annual shot of all the grandkids at Christmas.

Sept. 22, 2012. At our wedding, right after the anniversary dance, which they won. It's one of the only pictures I have of all 4 of us together.

Sept. 22, 2012. At our wedding, right after the anniversary dance, which they won (they were married for 64 years). It’s one of the few pictures I have of all 4 of us together.

 

 

A “Buy Local” Wedding – The End of a Chapter

Hoping I’ll get back to the topic ag? Me, too.  So here it is-the final post in this series. Thanks to ALL the local services that helped make our wedding a success. Remember, for every $1 you spend locally, 45 cents is reinvested locally. This means more tax dollars go to schools, roads, and jobs in your community. I hope our choice to “buy local” brought business to our community and made our guests feel at home for the night. For questions on any of these services, just shoot me an email: cvanderwende@hotmail.com.

***For a list of all the posts in this series and an update on the wedding, see here:

https://farmerdansdaughter.com/wedding/

A “Buy Local” Wedding-The Honeymoon

It was fair week and we still had no clue where to go for a honeymoon. I knew we were running out of time since options and prices fluctuate the longer you wait for air travel. I had already called 2 local travel companies for suggestions other than the typical “Sandals Resorts”. One never called me back and the other seemed perturbed that we didn’t know exactly what we wanted. So I finally asked Scott, “Where have you always wanted to go, but never had the chance?” His response…King Ranch. I had never heard of it before besides the series of Ford trucks which display its name. I looked it up and realized the history is rich in southern agriculture. It was perfect for us since we don’t like to just sit on the beach all day. I also realized flights to Texas aren’t simple; they usually require at least one change over. Since the ranch is near the Gulf of Mexico, in the middle of nowhere towards the east coast of Texas, I needed help figuring out which city was closest and whether or not it would be best for us to visit before and/or after the ranch. I knew it would be hard to find someone to help with me this because the agent most likely won’t make much off booking my accommodations for something like this.

I reached out to my friend Wendy, because she seems to know a lot of people and said, “Do you know any good travel agents?” Her response was, “You need to call Dianne Webb.” And the rest is history. I called Dianne and she spent the whole next day scouting the best flight prices and drafting an itinerary for us. Wow, talk about immediate service! No less than 24 hours she had our trip booked and I had every email confirmation we needed-the air, hotels, rental car, even the personal tour we booked. I thought that was it and I was very appreciative. But on top of all this, I met with her for a quick 15 minutes one morning and she had printed everything we needed, including an itinerary and compiled it all in a nice little pocket folder. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this was, especially in the midst of the wedding activity and events. We left the Monday after the wedding and it was so nice to pull out this nice little neat folder and be ready to go.

The perfect little blue folder…everything in one place for our trip.

Everything was printed for us and in order by day! Cute luggage tags for us, too.

This was our itinerary, complete with confirmation numbers, hotel names, dates and times.

Dianne tends to specialize in Caribbean vacations but she will listen to whatever you have in mind and research options for you. In the beginning, she asked me, “Are you sure you don’t want to go to an all-inclusive resort for your honeymoon?” But once I explained to her the ag connection and that this was a place Scott always wanted to go, she got on it ASAP. And she says she had fun doing it. I think this is key – exceptional service comes from those who love what they do. And she loves what she does. It says it all in her tag line – “Above and Beyond.” Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Contact Info for Dianne’s Travel!

***For an update on the wedding page and the honeymoon, see here: https://farmerdansdaughter.com/wedding/

A “Buy Local” Wedding: Gifts From The Heart

If you ever need a one-stop-shop for flowers, decorations, and event coordination near Harrington, look no further. Just head east on Rt. 14 going towards Milford and stop at “Gifts From The Heart” and ask for Teresa Murphy. She can help you above and beyond just flowers!

Teresa approached my sister last spring and said, “I heard your sister is getting married. Tell her I do wedding flowers now”. I had no idea. My Mom had already contacted her friend for my flowers, but I reached out to her anyway to see what else she does and because I had a feeling I might need more help. I’m so glad I did because I had a limited amount of time to decorate and I was extremely distracted since everything was happening at once and my phone was ringing every 5 minutes. I had no time left after decorating tables, running errands, and putting things together.

The first thing she did for me was arrange some fall silk flowers in two old nail kegs that I found at an antique store. I got the silk flowers on sale at Pier 1 Imports and Teresa added in some greenery to make them full. I loved how she arranged them and the best part is…I can keep them forever, unlike the cut flowers!

I found the 2 old nail kegs at Beene’s Antique Store in Milford. The fall silk flowers were on sale at Pier 1 Imports back in the winter. Teresa Murphy of Gifts from the Heart arranged both nail kegs, which I used on the end of our gift table. They were well worth the money because I can keep them forever, unlike the cut flowers!

Then she spent all day Friday decorating the pergola, which was the main focal point of our reception. I bought most of the supplies but I would have never known how to implement them the way she did. And the result was beautiful!!!

Teresa used burlap, ivory sheers, lights, and tie wraps to decorate this pergola for me. I got the lanterns from Pier 1 Imports and had no idea how I was going to use them……but Teresa did!!!

She also arranged some cut flowers in mason jars (which my sister bought and decorated for my shower) for our rehearsal dinner. This worked out great because I was able to reuse them at the reception the next day to accent the bar and cake tables and even the bathroom. I also reused a large amber vase for a picture mat signing table. It was beautiful and using everything twice just made me feel like it was well worth the money. It was also close and convenient for me since my rehearsal dinner was held at Georgia House Restaurant (another local venue)!

This is the large amber vase Teresa arranged with cut flowers for my rehearsal dinner. I reused it at the reception for the picture mat signing table. It was perfect!

I didn’t know it until after the fact but she can also coordinate your wedding ceremony. I definitely could’ve used this since we were in a back room at the church and had no idea what was going on in the sanctuary. And on top of all this, she can also arrange beautiful wedding bouquets for the entire bridal party.

Love the way Teresa wrapped this bouquet.

I’m so glad I could support a small, local, family owned business. The most important thing you should know about Teresa is…she keeps up on current trends and listens to what you want. You can find Teresa on her website, Facebook, and Pinterest. Or you can call the shop at 302-398-4449 and/or email her at giftsfromtheheartde@gmail.com . Thanks so much, Teresa!

Teresa Murphy, Gifts From The Heart
Harrington, DE
302-398-4449
www.heartgiftsofde.com

A “Buy Local” Wedding: The Stationary

I got lucky. I had a meeting set up back in February lined up with a wedding business near the beach to look through options for wedding invitations. The employee was a no-show. Feeling very frustrated because I knew I had a limited amount of weekends to plan before my summer farmer’s market commitments, I pulled around back to leave and saw a sign that said “Paper Dollz Stationary”. A car was parked outside and a light was on inside. I thought “Hmm, why not?”  I’m so glad I walked in and the rest is history………

Paper Dollz is a two-man team in Rehoboth, DE. I met with Allison Veith and she listened to my theme and vision for the big day. She worked with her business partner, Stef Stratton, to design our Save the Date magnets, invitation set, and ceremony program. There were several advantages to working with a small, local business such as:

  • Always being able to talk to someone personally
  • Samples and ideas of trends in stationary
  • The chance to edit and revise drafts several times
  • No time needed for shipping and no shipping costs
  • Advice from professionals on wording and technique (I realized quickly that I needed major help with this!)
  • Coordinating set of stationary throughout series of events

I will admit, I dreaded the detail and time in which all of the stationary required. But these girls made it so much more bearable for me. I trusted them and I think that says it all. Thanks, Stef and Allison a.k.a. Paper Dollz Stationary!

Wedding Programs

Here is a picture of our wedding ceremony programs. We went through several revisions and I love the way they turned out. They match our previous invitations and save the date magnets sent out. Paper Dollz will help coordinate embellishments as well, such as the ribbon detail.

 

A “Buy Local” Wedding: The Chow

Scott said from the beginning that he wanted to have a pig roast reception. I loved the idea because we don’t get to eat fresh pulled pork often and it could potentially make the reception setting less formal. It was also a great way to include Scott in the planning and let him be responsible for a few things! He already had a connection from Maryland, through the beef farm he managed for 7 years. His name is Mr. Dean Ayres and his set up is called “Pork & Deans“. The name may make you laugh but when it comes to cooking BBQ, these guys don’t mess around. Here’s a picture of their trailer, which highlights some of their accolades from cooking competitions in the past.

Mr. Dean Ayres, Pork & Dean’s

There will be 3 kinds of BBQ meats for guest to choose from. I won’t give it all away, but Dean is also cooking all the sides, including sweet corn from Little Wagon Produce!

Although we went outside of the state for main course, I was able to keep everything local for the appetizers, cake, and even one of the favors. We are keeping the appetizers light since I don’t think we will keep guests waiting long. My family is chipping in as my Aunts are helping me make vegetable and cheese trays. Of course, the veggies are coming from LWP!

I didn’t have to think twice about who would make the cake. I called “Paula’s Place for Cakes” in early February and it’s a good thing I did it early because she fills up quick. She doesn’t take more than 2 weddings a weekend and she already had one booked for our weekend. The best thing about Paula is she has a very organized process in place and she listens (it’s not about what she wants or what she likes to do). I brought her pictures of what I liked and she helped me right away through my many questions. Again, I won’t give it all away but there will be two different kinds of cake to choose from, as well as Vanderwende Farm Creamery ice cream!

As for one of the favors, I reached out to Mary Fennemore of Fifer Orchards. I have worked with Mary on the Farm to School Advisory Board and, of course, they are a long time staple of the fruit and vegetable business in Delaware. I recently took my colleagues from Nemours on a field trip to their orchard and retail store, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they make many baked goods and candy daily. So I knew they could help me with a popular fall treat: candied apples! Apples have just come into season and they are making them a few days before the wedding, so they’ll be fresh. They also have several toppings to choose from such as caramel, nuts, sprinkles, and more.

Again, the whole point is that I tried to buy locally as much as possible beginning with the in-state location and the food. Although very prominent in the food industry, the “buy local” movement can extend beyond food products and the benefits from sales to our local economy are endless. Coming up next: the invitations, flowers, and honeymoon!

***For more information on the businesses mentioned, please see the links provided above or contact me at cvanderwende@hotmail.com .

A “Buy Local” Wedding – The Locale

It’s no secret that there is a Buy Local movement sweeping our country, especially when it comes to food. Consumers have embraced the fact that the earlier and closer the fresh food product, the better the taste and quality. But the “Buy Local” movement can extend beyond local food products……

It’s also no secret by now that I’m getting married. I tend not to post things of this sort on social media sites but word usually travels pretty fast regardless of social media, especially in small towns. Since January 1, Scott and I have struggled to plan this monster. I think it’s finally safe to say that we’re in the homestretch since invitations have gone out, my dress is fitted, and the honeymoon is planned. Phew!

But the first decision we had to make was a big one—where to have it? As enticing as a destination wedding was to us, we knew it was not an option if I wanted my family to attend. Farmer Dan isn’t setting foot on a plane! And nor would my grandparents. So that left us with choosing an in-state wedding location.

The ceremony – I knew I wanted to get married in a church but was unsure of which one. I grew up in two local Bridgeville churches and both mean a lot to me. Both are very different venues. At the same time, Scott and I had started attending a local Methodist church that is close to our home. It is also what I consider a very “country” church setting. As we talked more, I realized our current church fit our entire theme very well. It also allows me to get ready for the big day in the comfort of my own home. Plus it means something to both of us, not just me. Part 1 done.

On to the reception…….the beach? Nope, it doesn’t mean much to us and we avoid it for the most part. A local winery? No, because many dates were already taken and they were not open to outside catering. A local fire hall? No, because the one we have a connection with was too small and many have become very pricey with limited options for decorating. I started brainstorming. A tent on the farm? No, because I knew this would be a lot of work for my family the week and day of the wedding (prepping, parking, etc.) and plus I really need to be able to control the environment for my grandparents, all of which are aging. That left us with one more close option: the DE State Fairgrounds. At first we thought their options would be too big, but the more we thought about it, we realized that more space may be better than not enough. Plus, the fairgrounds mean a lot to both of us since we both grew up at the Fair each July and loved participating in 4-H and FFA events there. The icing on the cake: we met at the Fair, in the Exhibit Hall, in March 2009 at the Livestock Expo Fundraiser! Part 2 done and our first big decision was final!

Our choice to “Buy Local” for our wedding started with the very first decision. It also initiated my thought to buy locally as much as possible for this special occasion. This is only happening once for me so why not make the most of it!!! Not only does it support local businesses, but its convenient for me as I try to fit this wedding planning stuff into my already hectic schedule. Did you know for every $1 you spend locally, 45 cents is reinvested locally? This also means more tax dollars go to schools, roads and jobs in your community. Therefore, I’m so glad I can support my local church. They aren’t charging me to use their facility but I will be sure to make a donation back to them, to help them continue to provide for our community. And the DE State Fair has made an effort to support DE and Kent County 4-H, not only with the annual State Fair, but by lending their facilities throughout the year for 4-H events at minimal cost, if any. So, I hope our small contribution for rental of their facilities continues that dedication.

Up next: A “Buy Local” Wedding – The Chow!