July 1921. Robert Redd once again found himself under an azure blue sky, and as was often the case, Lady Redd was by his side. This time they were in the medieval town of Montecatini Terme, in the beauteous mountains of Tuscany, Italy: dining in the piazza, strolling the tree-lined avenues in the evening glow, mingling with poets, opera singers and celebrities of international renown. “My,” said Robert, “what a fitting locale for a summer romance.”
“That’s a new one,” Lady Redd said. “In six years, I’ve never heard you try that one.”
Robert raised his hands in defense. “Come on now,” he said. “You think I’m being insincere?”
“It’s just that I’m well aware of your personal history and your talent for—how would your friend Churchill put it—tactical finesse,” said Lady Redd.
“Ah,” said Robert. “I see.” At that moment, they happened onto a tomato field by the road. “Then allow me to demonstrate,” Robert said, reaching out and plucking one of the fruits from the vine. “Over many years, from a young age, I’ve cultivated a unique taste for tomatoes,” he said. “Without so much as touching the specimen in question, I can identify the name, origin, age and purity of its strain, its ripeness, its nutritional quality.” He handed the tomato to Lady Redd. “Here,” he said. “Try it.”
As she sank her teeth into the tomato’s tender skin, her eyes widened in amazement. “Oh Robert,” she said, scarcely having swallowed the piece, “this is one of the sweetest tomatoes I have ever tasted!”
“So it is for me,” Robert says. “For although I’ve tried many tomatoes in my time, the taste of one so fine as this is just as fresh to my palate.”