Re: [gardeners] sweet cherries

margaret lauterbach (
Sat, 03 Jul 1999 08:06:34 -0600

>Good grief! As if the sweet cherries story wasn't bad enough (he said as he
>salivated down his front), you had to toss in some beautiful weather. It's 90
>plus here with humidity in the high 90s, bright sun, occasional rain
showers (to
>add to the humidity), lots of mosquitos and nights that, sometimes, drop into
>the high seventies. Our weekend will be safe and sound as we are planning
>cookouts with neighbors and friends to carry us through Monday. Tomorrow I
>a huge eggplant dressing (thank you bsk (Bonnie aka RanchMama) for the nice
>recipes) to take to a friend who has expressed a desire for such. Sunday it's
>grilled chicken breasts at the neighbors and Monday it will be more
>Fourth of July fare at yet another neighbors home. We will be taking
plates of
>tomatoes, chiles, cukes, etc along with a nice cold eggplant caponata.
Enjoy the
>weekend gardeners.
Oh, George, picnicking with neighbors is what 4th of July celebrations are
meant to be. My grandparents lived in eastern Colorado, and until the
Depression-planted Siberian elm saplings grew large enough to cast shade,
they had the only shade trees for miles around. There was a mile-long
string of huge old cottonwoods bisecting the farm. Just before July 4, Pop
mowed the weeds, and families came from miles around, all with crisp fried
chicken, some with potato salad, and all kinds of goodies. There were
always watermelons and crank ice cream makers, and always too much food.
Most years there were about 100 people there, enjoying their only area
get-together of the year.

July 4, 1944, the German POWs were scheduled to finish weeding the sugar
beets. Pop sternly told the guards to have the trucks hauling the POWs take
the south road exit from the farm. They didn't, they took the western road,
taking them right past the picnic. He looked around at the German-surnamed
neighbors, sighed, and stopped the trucks. Drivers and guards ate joyously,
and ignored the women handing plates of wonderful food up to the grateful
prisoners. Even though I was a child, I had talked to the prisoners on the
occasions when the guard went to my Aunt's for lunch, leaving me with his
rifle and in charge of the prisoners. As his back disappeared, they all
dropped their tools and walked into the shade, where I was, lit up pipes
and sat down to chat. Many did speak English, and many had children my age
at home. I don't think the other picnickers thought  they were an enemy
either, although technically they were. That was one of the very best July
4ths we had.  

Margaret L