The girlfriend was riding in the car with her boyfriend. In North Carolina. The boyfriend’s father was driving the car. They became behind an old pickup truck. It was from South Carolina. The pickup truck had high wooden slat walls above the sides of the truck. Inside the slat walls were piled handled baskets full of peaches. Following along behind the pickup truck, the boyfriend’s father observed the peaches and said “Those are fresh picked peaches there. They must be taking them to the (local outdoor farmer’s) market. I want to get some of those.”
They followed the truck to its vendor’s spot at the market and promptly purchased a basket (half bushel) of the peaches for twelve dollars. “I only want half of the peaches.” the father said to the girlfriend and boyfriend. “You guys can have the rest and take the basket back with you.”
The next day the boyfriend and girlfriend drove to Maine. They drove back to the girlfriend’s family farm in Maine. This farm is where she grew up. It took them two days to drive there. As usual. When they arrived at the farm they took the basket of peaches inside the farmhouse and set it down on the old worn pine wood floor of the old farm’s kitchen. Everyone in the Maine farm family looked at the basket of peaches. Then they looked over the peaches. Then they handled a peach. Finally several members of the family... ate a peach. Each.
The whole family agreed that these were the finest peaches they’d ever eaten that any of them could ever remember ever eating. Then they discussed ‘how bad’ peaches sold in Maine ‘are’. This included several short oral stories of notably ‘bad’ peaches eaten in Maine.
The boyfriend and the girlfriend said they wanted to make a pie with some of the peaches. “Should we make TWO pies?” they asked. “No... only one pie so there will be a lot of these very good peaches left just to eat.” Too. All agreed. The boyfriend and the girlfriend made the peach pie the next day. It was for “desert” after the homemade lobster roll dinner.
The family bought twelve lobsters to make the lobster meat for the lobster rolls. They bought them from David Force’s boy Richard... right from his lobster boat. Richard was ‘lobstering’ for the summer and was ‘leaving for school’ ‘next week’. ‘The Wife’ cooked the lobsters on the kitchen stove with the little pile of rockweed (seaweed)... Richard had added to the lobsters in the plastic cooler the family brought with them to ‘haul’ the lobsters home in... in the bottom. After the pile of cooked and drained lobsters had cooled, ‘The Wife’ ‘shucked them out’ and put all the lobster meat in a class covered dish ‘down cellar’ to ‘cool’ and then ‘keep cool’. ‘The Wife’ then made some of ‘her mayonnaise’ to put on the lobster rolls. She also ‘looked to’ the hot dog buns she’d bought ‘in town’.
While all this happened I had gone by the farm of this family... to go a quarter mile further down ‘their road’ to the next old farm... about six times. I was in the process of ‘cleaning out’ the contents of the ‘old barn’... that was one of two barns of the ‘old’ J. H. Steward farm. This older barn was across the road from the rest of the Steward farm buildings. I had, after several years of extended-with-no-action-taking-place dickering, finally ‘purchased’ ‘the contents’... of this old barn. Having paid for my purchase in full, I was now ‘hauling it (the contents) away’. I was doing this by myself in my truck with no help in order to ‘keep costs down’. I had made six trips of ‘hauling truck’ from this barn to one of my barns. I was returning for my seventh load.
As I drove by the ‘farm of this family’ on this seventh load trip... I was surprised to spy a fresh pile of old-barn-clean-out type truck piled out beside the road with the ‘evidently the’ pile builder; Mr. Head of Household of this farm, walking back towards his barn. I stopped my truck beside his truck pile. I got out of my truck and very, VERY, VERY quickly scanned the truck pile AS Mr. Head of Household heard my truck, heard my truck stop and turned himself to face me while still half way to his barn.
“YOU THROWING OUT THIS TRUCK?” I ...spoke loudly... in his direction. He hesitated, looked to the SIDE door of the farm house and then proceeded to ...slowly... walk over to me as I stood... at the roadside beside his truck pile... that was in the shade under one of the large old maple trees this farm ‘has’ along the road. He ‘come over’.
“You throwing out this truck?” I said to him again upon his arrival roadside.
“Well... I SUPPOSE I am.” he said after a pause and a look at my face. He knew who I was and what I was and I ...knew who he was and what he was and... we had not communicated directly for at least a dozen years but ...that did not matter at all and was, by our mutual standard, ‘usual’ so therefore ‘we’ ‘know each other’. The facial look combined with the pause was because HE knew I am an antiques dealer and ALSO that he’d just put all this truck out from his old barn and ...that doing that had caused me to stop... ‘immediately’.
“I’ll HAUL it OFF.” I say.
“What... you do... THAT FOR?”
“HAULING TRUCK from STEWARD’S OLD BARN.”
“Steward’s barn. THAT’S WHERE you AT?”
“BOUGHT the CONTENTS. Just hauling the TRUCK now”.
“I seen you HAULING ALL MORNING”.
“Getting it DONE: LOT OF TRUCK.”
“WHERE you HAULING?”
“That fangled TRANSFER STATION.”
“You DON’T USE that TRUCK?”
“NO: Already TOOK what I WANT. Gotta CLEAN IT OUT. Part of the DEAL.”
“Oh... FANGLED is the RIGHT WORD... for that... TRANSFER STATION. Ain’t it.”
“FANGLED and a CREW TOO.”
“WELL... they REE... CALIBRATE that SCALE when they see ME COMING.”
“They SCALE YOU?”
“Eyeball SCALE me FIRST.”
“DUMP IT OVER THERE they say; pick it over nasty”.
There is a pause of four seconds and I say:
“I’ll HAUL THIS TRUCK. SAVE YOU. Won’t SCALE YOU”.
“I ain’t HAULING THIS TRUCK THERE. ...Nope. Leave it right HERE. SOMEONE will HAUL IT OFF.”
“I will right now for you. GOING UP THERE soon as I LOAD at STEWARD’S”.
“Well... I suppose... you CAN can’t you.”
I bend down and pick up a small barn shelf-cupboard that has long been missing its door and has a bunch of jars and cans rattling around in it as I lift it ...making very sure it stays level... up and over the side of my truck and set it... daintily... down in the pickup bed right behind the driver’s seat. I immediately pick up and ‘dump’ three old short board pieces on top of this... daintily set... cupboard. I continued to load the rest of the truck into the back of my ...truck... making sure to leave this cupboard and it’s cover boards ‘still exposed’.
“WELL to see YOU STOP is a surprise. FIGURE I seen you HAULING them ANTIQUES you BUY.”
I pause in the loading and turn towards him. His back is to the farm house and we are both in the shade of the tree by the road. “I see ***** (his daughter) IS HOME”. He looks over his shoulder toward the farm house SIDE door; the one off the kitchen.
“BACK just for a FEW DAYS”.
“Nice to see her?”
“Oh Jesus; have to HIDE half the time from ‘em. FIX’EN everything ALL THE TIME in there. Make ‘en PEACH PIE this MORNING.” He looks again at the side door. “SHE’S MAKE THEM LOBSTER ROLLS. STINK UP THE WHOLE HOUSE. I SEE my CHANCE: I make ‘en a NEW ROOM for Mildred IN THE BARN. RIGHT IN THAT CORNER.” He says turning and pointing to the far front corner of the barn where the sun burns on it. “ROOM in there already just filled with this old TRUCK from HER FAMILY. So I says today’s the day when she STINKS the HOUSE all morning.
Mildred is the farm’s old goose. Mildred, everyone who visits knows... is best kept in sight and at a distance. IF one looses sight, the next thing that happens is Mildred will have snuck up behind you and BIT your... behind. A NASTY old goose and I ...quickly spied Mildred up the roadside on the other side of the farm house out by the road at ‘the wet spot’... watching me... as soon as I had exited my truck. She, I could see at a glance... still had one eye on me.
“Gonna DRAG her PEN AROUND in a while.” he says now thoughtfully eyeing my face as the notion of a hidden agenda enters his mind that I... could help with that. That notion is quashed by the second notion that that would mean I being there (in the barn) and thereby causing ‘The Wife’ to discover all works in progress... and thereby ‘shutting everything down’ ...including my taking the truck pile. We both look up the road at Mildred. She has one eye on us. “***** (the daughter): SHE BROUGHT THEM THESE BEST PEACHES I EVER TASTED BACK WITH HER” he continues as we resume our poise of he overseeing me load his truck into my pickup truck bed. He, at this moment, now tells me the peach story... with the lobster roll story... that I opened with. I load his truck... into my truck... while he does this.