A Tomato Called Bubba

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Bubba won the Masters. Augusta put a green jacket on a guy who uses a pink driver. A bubba (in lowercase) refers to a member of that class of Southern male persons who drive around with kegs of beer in the back of their pickups. Most of the boys who are members at Augusta probably have such a memory in their past.

Bubba seedlings

Bubba among the heirlooms

But for many reasons, Bubba Watson — this year’s winner — does not seem to be the typical Augusta good ole boy. First, he’s named after Bubba Smith — an all-pro defensive end for the Baltimore Colts. So, his name is not an endearment, it’s in homage to another great athlete. Not a stereotypical use of the name. Second, Bubba Watson reportedly has never had a lesson from a golf pro in his life. This is not as impressive as being named after Bubba Smith, but to the golfing world this fact is just short of astounding. Third, he has one of the most powerful drives in the game of golf — he can hit a ball 350 yards with his pink driver. Most other bubbas can only do that in their dreams. And finally, he puts eyes on a golf ball so it can see around a tree and onto the green. Truly amazing.

So, this year in honor of Bubba Watson, I am calling my cherry tomatoes “Bubbas” with a capital B. The cherry tomato is tough and talented. When nothing else is growing because the garden hasn’t been watered in the drought, there will be some cherries, I mean Bubbas. Just think how much fun this is going to be — sending the kids into the garden, “Honey, go get some Bubbas for the salad.” It just has a ring to it, doesn’t it? Or when it comes time to make Bubba Polenta Tartlets. The possibilities are endless.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m going to interplant Bubba with Black-Eyed Susan vine that can scramble up through his indeterminate branches. Then, I’ll have “Bubba and Susie” a summer romance. How perfect is that for an all American combination? I promise pictures in August.

Maybe Bubba Watson’s dramatic win foretells the pinking of the Masters, maybe Virginia Rometty will be invited to join.

Probably not. Augusta is still full of bubbas.

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