January 9, 2007
This general assembly session, lawmakers will be busy squabbling over thousands of bills, dealing with issues like transportation and taxes, but one overlooked bill proposes to make the apple...the apple of Virginia's eye.
"Oh yeah, I love apples. You can cut them up and put peanut butter on them, and have lots of protein," shares Jackie Van Dyke, a shopper we found in the apple aisle.
Two Mount Vernon area lawmakers want to designate, the ginger golden apple, as the official state fruit. This particular kind of apple was created during Hurricane Camille in 1969, when the Golden Delicious and Albemarle Pippin accidently got together.
The tasty outcome seems to have everyone we talked to on the apple cart.
"I love apples. Everyone loves apples," declared Van Dyke.
"You got to have a state fruit, so if it has to be the apple, why not?" asked John Cramer, another shopper we found hanging around the apple aisle.
"It seems like a good idea, I guess. We grow a lot of apples here in Virginia," offered Rachel Wilthew, who works at Giant Food Store.
Just like their legislators, people want a state fruit that represents them and doesn't leave a bad after taste.
"(I'd look for) Something that everybody would enjoy," suggested Van Dyke.
"Something that was grown in the state," said Cramer.
"Something good and delicious," proclaimed Wilthew.
But, Delegate David Toscano (D-57th) warns to keep your appleseeds grounded. As the old saying goes, all it takes is one rotten apple to spoil the whole barrel.
"None of these state designations are shoo-ins...witness the state song, the state bat... do we need a state candy bar?" he asked.
And the delegate, will treat picking the state fruit, probably the same way he does in the grocery store...
"You know, I don't feel very strongly about picking the state fruit," Toscano laughed. "I'll hear the debate and weigh in at the appropriate time."
Hopefully this issue won't be caught in a gridlock and we can have our state fruit identity crisis settled before the session ends on February 24th.