Shortly after I moved to Lynchburg, I noticed a sign outside some country store I drove by a lot. It said “Halifax Lopes Here.” A few days later, I saw a similar sign somewhere else. And then it seemed like they were everywhere. I figured it was one of those things that everyone in Lynchburg knew about except me, and I kept meaning to look it up to save myself the embarrassment of having to ask, but I’d always forget. So I just found myself wondering on a near-daily basis who the hell Halifax Lopes was, and why she spelled her last name Lopes instead of Lopez.
Several months ago I learned that they were talking about cantaloupes.
Evidently, Halifax County, Virginia, is known for a certain kind of fabulous scrumptious cantaloupe. Halifax ‘lopes are highly sought after and, if my coworkers’ endorsements are any indication, they’re really very yummy and better than regular ‘lopes.
Most local people I know are intensely amused that I spent YEARS thinking Halifax Lopes was a person. So I decided it’d be my spy name.