Please note that this blog is a work of fiction.
I sat in the dentist chair today reviewing what I’ve learned about varieties of cherries. Dentist offices are not my favorite places and one of the bad things about leaving the city was having to find a new one. What made finding a new dentist relatively easy though is the fact that there just aren’t that many around unless I want to drive fifty miles to Buffalo. I don’t, thank you very much. So Dr Geoffrey it is. At least neither the dentist nor the hygienist remarked that I have good teeth for a Brit. I’m sure Americans in the UK have to put up with insensitive, weird, rude remarks and I feel for them. But if I could have a dollar for every American who has ever told me that my teeth don’t look bad, or that there is no good food to be found in Britain, that the royal family is an anachronism but good for tourism, or launched into what they consider a British accent (folks, you never, ever get it right…stop trying) etc I could be pretty wealthy. Maybe could even pay this dental bill without wincing.
Cherries though have been much on my mind. I’m determined to have at least ten cherry trees in the orchard so that I can sit beneath them during cherry blossom season writing haiku and painting them in watercolor. I will also sell the cherries or products from them like jam or cherry wine.
There’s a book in our local library—a library that I think stopped acquiring books around 1947—which is fine with me because everything they have is out-of-date, unpopular, irrelevant and hence scads of fun! The book I found is called The Cherries of New York by U.P. Hedrick and it is filled with information that only I can love. Hedrick says that the cherry is ‘within easy reach of every rural housewife’ which is interesting because modern literature is most discouraging on the topic of growing cherries. Don’t bother the nurserymen tell me. Leave it to the professionals. But cherry trees do exist, I’ve seen them and if Hedrick says that anyone can easily lay their hands on Yellow Spanish or Black Tartarian then I don’t see why I can’t too. Black Tartarians originated in Russia and came to the US via Britain in the early nineteenth century. It’s also known as Ronald’s Large Black Heart. I love that name. The Yellow Spanish cherry is a pretty old variety. It’s mentioned in Johnson’s Dictionary.
The dentist, when he was through examining my teeth, showed the understandable curiosity of one who doesn’t often see new patients. I explained where I lived and he said he knew the area well. His grandparents used to own land nearby and he often visited their farm as a child. He was sure they had apple trees of a variety he loved but did not know the name of and hadn’t encountered it since the early 70s. He said he would give this some thought and get back to me. He thinks it would be an apple worth cultivating. People around here are so nice!