Tag Archives: Marketing

Jacksonville, Texas — Tomato Capital of the World

Customized concrete tomatoes in Jacksonville, Texas, the “Tomato Capital of the World.”

Jacksonville, Texas, was once known as the Tomato Capital of the World in the 1930’s. The town still celebrates its tomato history with a Tomato Fest the second Saturday each June with many activities, including a tomato eating contest, tomato peeling contest, tomato packing contest, best home grown tomato contest, tomato archery — you get the picture! All things tomato. More than 200 vendors sell tomatoes.

A metal flamingo and a concrete tomato hang out at a Jacksonville, Texas, restaurant.

Visitors can take a tour of the at least 175 concrete tomatoes throughout the city, which were sold to businesses and other institutions in the city by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce to promote its tomato history.

It’s fun to see how each business and public office decorated its tomato, each of which weigh 665 pounds. A Dairy Queen tomato looks like an ice cream cone, a business with a tropical decor decorated its concrete tomato to look like a beach ball, the McDonald’s tomato looks like a box of french fries. Other businesses feature their logos on the tomato.

Love’s Lookout Park is north of Jacksonville, Texas, and is worth a visit, especially if you’re on your way to or from Tyler. The park features a landscaped rest stop, a great view and concrete tomatoes.

About Jacksonville, Texas, Tomato Fest.

See more tomatoes at Love’s Lookout Park, north of Jacksonville.
Love’s Lookout Park.

Jacksonville, Texas, Tomato Capital of the World.

Jacksonville, Texas, the Tomato Capital.

In the fall, this Jacksonville produce stand featured tomatoes along with pumpkins.

Click on the thumbnails to see a full size of each photo.


Filed under Photography, Travel

How to Sell Greeting Cards

Fellow card designer Tom Rent alerted me to this hilarious video from the masters at Hallmark about how to sell greeting cards.  Tom and I are freelance card designers who hope to lure away a few card buyers from Hallmark, which is a big dog in my hometown. Sadly, I’ll never be more than a runt of the litter, but a pup can dream, can’t she?  (Freelance is an interesting word from the days of knights in armor. More about that later.) Here’s one of Tom’s cards.

I’m not funny like Tom, but I love photography (and surfing!) so I tend toward the scenic, like this:


Filed under Art, Commerce, Howto, Shopping


A surfer rides the waves in the ocean along Huntington Beach, California.

I love photography,  I love to watch surfers catch a wave and I love photographing surfers catching a wave, so I was thrilled when I recently stumbled upon a surfing competition in Huntington Beach, California.  I’d been hoping to find surfers, so a tournament was a bonus. My ever-patient daughter waited as I shot photo after photo.

I wasn’t the only one there with a camera.  My little Nikon D40X was like a child’s toy next to the dozens of big guns stationed along the pier.  I slipped in among them, and we all watched as the surfers waited for a worthy wave.  When a surfer rose up, a chorus of clicks followed the surfer doing all sorts of fancy moves on the waves.

In a break in the action, one photographer pointed out a pod of dolphins to me, and I hurried after her to find a better vantage to photograph them.  My telephoto lens was outmatched there. The dolphins were too far away to get a good shot.  I had serious lens envy. I sell a few photos, but not enough to justify the expense of a bigger rig. Although if I did upgrade (and it would be a seriously expensive upgrade), would I be more aggressive both in photographing more subjects as well as peddling my wares? So far, I don’t have the nerve.

I want this camera and lens!

I have serious lens envy.

Here, a surfer catches a wave under a rainbow!

Surfing Under A Rainbow Print print

More surfer photographs on a calendar I designed.


Filed under Life, Photography, Travel