Most days Kenneth Hopson can be found under the shade of a tree at the Somervell County Courthouse, which is where he sells fruits and vegetables at the Historic Farmers’ Market in Glen Rose.
For more than 30 years Hopson has filled his truck up with fresh produce once or twice a week, then selling it to the residents and visitors of Somervell County from June through September.
“I’ve been at it a long time,” he said with a mouthful of chewing tobacco. “I sell to anybody that comes along.”
During the hot summer months, Hopson sells watermelons, cantaloupes, Israel melons and the occasional tomatoes.
“I sell a lot of the cantaloupes and watermelons,” he said.
Hopson, 79, has been a resident of Glen Rose all his life, which he cites as his ability to withstand the sweltering Texas heat.
“We was raised in the heat,” he said. “We didn’t have no air conditioning when we was little.”
Spending time outdoors, usually working with his family, are the memories Hopson retains from his childhood.
“We rode the cotton sacks in the cotton fields and my mother drug us,” he said.
The children his age quickly went from riding on cotton sacks to riding in trucks through downtown Glen Rose long before a four-lane highway was ever constructed.
“I’ve seen all kinds of change (in Glen Rose),” Hopson said. “We traveled Barnard (Street) before the highway was up in Model T’s and Model A’s.”
Hopson, who has been known for his imitation of a train whistle, said he has one person to thank for his long life - God.
He recalls the time that he fell from a tree that he was trimming and broke his back. Hopson laid in the woods for 11 hours before help arrived.
“The good Lord was with me,” he said. “Everything in the world has happened to me but I kept hanging on. Now here I am selling watermelons and cantaloupes.”