In early Spring, each year, in central West Virginia, a green, leafy plant emerges from the moist earth, and lasts for only two weeks, to a month - although the first week is the best. This leafy green plant, which grows wild in the forested valleys, and hillsides, is called Ramps. When pulled from the ground, so the the entire plant is extracted, one is presented with a short, white, bottom - to which the roots are attached, and two long green leaves that are flat across the top. If harvested within the first week, or so, the Ramp has a tender, somewhat mild, taste of sweet and garlic - especially when the entire planet is eaten. After the first week, or two, the taste of garlic intensifies, greatly, and the leaves lose some of their tenderness. The taste is so strong that the local hospital has signs posted stating: If you ate ramps within the past 24 hours, don’t come to work.
As I was driving the backroads, en route from my hotel room in Bridgeport, West Virginia, to Grafton, I spotted this pickup truck along the side of the road.Thankfully no one was behind me, as I slammed on the breaks, then shifted into reverse. The man selling the ramps was even more delightful than what he was selling. We talked for nearly thirty minutes, before I made this photograph; and he left me with one of the greatest quotes that I have ever heard. It was ‘what his grandmother always said to him:
“What makes you happy tickles me to death”.