answer to an Arkansas Gazette article about Alma, Arkansas being the
Spinach Capital, Little Rock resident (but former San Antonian) T.C.
Hood wrote to the editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
Grelen's article about Alma, Arkansas and it's new Popeye statue promoting
Alma as the "Spinach Capital of the World" was interesting, but
seemed to stretch historical facts just a tad.
With due respect, let me bring you up to date. On March 26, 1937,
spinich growers erected a statue of the cartoon character, Popeye,
in Crystal City,
Texas, because of his reliance on spinach for strength led to greater
popularity of the vegetable.
Early in it's history the area was known as the "Winter Garden District"
was nationally known as the "Spinach
Capital of the World." With ample underground water and sandy
soil Crystal City
produces 80% or more of the nation's spinach crop.
Their first annual festival was held in 1936. It was put on hold during
WW II and resumed
in 1982, and continues to this day, the second week in Nov. My future
wife, Sarah E. Osborn participated in two Festivals, 1937 ( the dedication
of the Popeye Statue) and 1940 (as a member of the Queen's Court.)
|It draws former
residents and workers from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California,
Washington State and beyond.
When the Victoria
Texas Newspaper put out a special historical edition in 1934, it featured
a cartoon drawn exclusively for "The Advocate." In it, Popeye said
"please assept me, me hardies bes' wises and felicitation on account
of yer paper's 88th anniveersary...Victoria is me home town on account
of tha's where I got born'd at." When the strip went into syndication,
"The Victoria Advocate" was the first Newspaper in the nation to feature
So there it is in black and white: Popey the Sailor Man is a native
Texan. Now pass the Spinach.
Ted Hood, Sr.
Little Rock, AR
Mr. Hood's Original Letter to Texas Escapes
A local Little Rock newspaper has an article about Alma, Arkansas
putting up it's second Popeye statue. And they claim Alma is "The
Spinach Capital of the World." Now you and I know that isn't so. May
I use some of your Web-site material in rebutting their article? If
this is not permitted, I may write them, using my personal knowledge,
having been born at Fort Sam Houston, San
Antonio, Texas, September 12, 1922. My wife was born in Crystal
City, in 1923, and participated in two Spinach Festivals. - Ted
Hood Sr., Little Rock, Arkansas, November 07, 2006