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STONEWALL -- May 28, 2006 -- There's almost nothing like a sweet Stonewall peach, fully tree ripened, soft to the touch and sweet to the smell, succulent with natural juices and ready to slide between your lips with the aroma of Heaven. It's been said, in fact, once you've tasted a Stonewall peach, there's no going back to ordinary fruit varieties.

We don't know who said it or even if it was an actual, factual quote. But if wasn't said - it should have been. And since we're passing out quotes, here's another to ponder:

The child who eats Stonewall peaches can grow up to be president...

Sam Ealy Johnson, the man Johnson City was named after, allegedly said that to his young son while sitting on the porch of his ranch house just outside of Stonewall. The year was 1913, and becoming President of the United States was the last thing to enter the mind of young Lyndon Baines. But Old Man Johnson must have been right. Because today Stonewall is most famous for dual reasons: Presidents and peaches.

Welcome to Peach country and the Stonewall Peach Jamboree and Rodeo, staged each year to coincide with the annual peach harvest. If you've never wrapped your lips around a juicy Stonewall peach, then you haven't lived!

The problem is, this year you can't. Thanks to drought, a mild winter, a late freeze and a half dozen spring hail storms, the peaches that would have been the star of Peach Jam won't be making much of an appearance

But the absence of Fredericksburg and Stonewall peaches this year only makes the Peach Jam & Rodeo that more significant. In times past, when harvest was weak or nonexistent, it was the stout hearts and hearty spirits of the agriculture community in and around Stonewall that gave the region soul. And in spite of Nature's lack of cooperation this year - and pardon the pun - the jam must go on!

There's some hope that a few peach varieties may make their way into the Jamboree grounds. But regardless, the festival will be full of the usual live music, good food and lots of dancing.

For a full lineup of this years fest, visit the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce Web site. Support your sweet peach growers! Attend the Jam this year.