The great pickle caper

Published 9:49 am Saturday, September 3, 2011

COURTLAND—Three weeks after the close of the Franklin-Southampton County Fair, Linda Blythe remains soured over the loss of the sweet pickles she entered.

Blythe is convinced someone stole the canned pickles.

“If they wanted them, they could’ve asked for them. I would’ve been glad to give it to them,” the Courtland woman said. “Suppose someone walked off with one of those big beautiful quilts that someone put all that time and work into. I know mine’s not much, but to me it’s a lot.”

Ramona Rich, chairwoman for the fair’s home/arts department, doesn’t believe the pickles were stolen from the Courtland fairgrounds. Aware of Blythe’s situation, she called everyone else who entered pickles assuming someone took home the wrong jar. No luck.

“I guess they were embarrassed to say they picked up someone else’s (jar),” Rich said.

She also doubts Blythe’s pickles were stolen and apologized for the missing jar.

“We never had that happen,” Rich said. “In fact, we have had things left forever. People forget to pick up stuff. We’ve never had any theft.”

Blythe, 69, has entered items in the fair since its inception 31 years ago and she’s taken a home a lot of ribbons. She said she’s always retrieved her things without incident.

When she went to pick up her canned goods from this year’s fair the day after it closed on Aug. 13, the sweet pickles were missing.

Blythe explained that it takes two days to make her sweet pickles. She buys the cucumbers since she doesn’t have a garden.

“I make cinnamon pickles, cucumber pickles and sweet pickles,” Blythe said. “They left my cinnamon pickles and took the sweet pickles.”

“If they can’t make their own, why do they take someone else’s,” she added. “It was a lot of work.”