texasmonthly.com: Why did you decide to go ahead with the peach story even though the crop had been damaged?
Suzy Banks: Have you ever heard the story of the peach that cried “wolf”? Well, last year, just a week or so before the peach stories were due, we got the call from the orchardists that a late freeze had wiped them out. We canned the story (pun intended), deciding to wait until the crop was better the next year (this year). About a week before the magazine went to press the orchardists called with great news: The peach crop wouldn’t be phenomenal, but there would certainly be plenty of peaches at the farm stands and at pick-your-own orchards. This year, once again just a week before the stories were due, BAM!—big freeze. All is lost, said the experts and the orchardists. “Yeah, sure,” we thought. Well, this year the naysayers were right.
texasmonthly.com: How long have you been working on this story?
SB: I started flirting with the demon fruit in spring of 2001. I spent time with a couple of growers in Fredericksburg and attended the 2001 Stonewall Peach Jamboree, all with the intention of contributing to a big peach package the next spring. I was to write a short article about the Jamboree itself too. This year, only a bit of that article made it into my piece. But now, for your amusement, I would like to describe the Jamboree parade.