Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Old Friends and Old Trees

During my early years of working with the Soil Conservation Service, a fellow employee and I looked for opportunities to augment our minimal salaries (approx. $1.00/hr). We cut Osage Orange trees into post, did some building painting, etc. before starting to sell Nursery Stock for Stark Bro's at Louisiana, MO while not on duty. They had excellent material and it always arrived in very good condition. Our "commission" was 25% of the selling price which the customer paid directly to us in signing the order.  We worked at it during the week-ends and occasional evenings during the early spring. Now "fast forward" to today when our Kitones sang in Milford for the Farmer's and Merchant Bank's customer appreciation dinner. While singing, I spotted Gene Welsch who was one of our early Stark Bro's customers. I have visited with him periodically over the years since his son David is recognized as one of the early leaders of Organic Farming. As we were winding up our conversation, Gene brought up the Pear tree that we had sold them those many years ago. He said it was just about "done-for" having split off parts and has a hollow trunk. He spoke affectionately of the old tree that apparently provided them some excellent fruit over the years. It's great to live in a community among old friends and pretty special when one of them takes  pleasure in reminding you of something you were able to do for them at one time.

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