This man is a national treasure. His name is Rod Pittman, and he is a friend of mine. Long-time readers of FoodShed Planet may remember him from this post, Precarious Nature of Life .
Rod is the subject of an article I was hired to write for the summer issue of Edible Atlanta, available all over metro-Atlanta right now and online here (pages 18-22: click the magnifying glass icon to make it large enough to read). Researching and writing this article was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career, and spending time with Rod was a true gift. I am humbled and honored to have been entrusted with this man's story, and grateful to Edible Atlanta for giving me the opportunity and space to tell it. If you read the article, you will read about Rod hopping a fence, climbing a tree, and creating something I call the "goat mower." You will also read about his wife of 54 years, Jerrie, and his younger days wrangling steers*. Those pictures were not among the many that Edible Atlanta generously included, so I thought I'd offer them to you here as a FoodShed Planet bonus!
At the end of the article, it mentions that Rod wants to visit his friend's farm in Costa Rica. I don't tell you in the article that he had been hesitant to go because he is deathly allergic to an insect that is very common there. About two weeks after I finished the article, I stopped by to see Jerrie and I mentioned about how Rod told me how much he wanted to go.
"He's there now!" she exclaimed.
And that's Rod for ya'. There's no stopping him. Thank you, Rod and Jerrie, for all you are and for all you do, and for
so generously sharing your story with us. And thank you, Rod,
for being a mentor to me these past four years, after we fell
upon each other by complete and total chance when starting a community garden together . I like the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." I'm glad you appeared.
* You will also read about something that illustrates the truth in the saying, "Every single person has a story that will break your heart."