At the cider pressing party-a story
On a beautiful, almost warm fall afternoon my best trucking buddy (that would be Dekie) and I attended a “cider pressing” party. It was quite an affair. The hosts have held the party on an annual basis for years and they furnished a truck load of apples, a hammer mill to chop up the apples, and a couple of old fashioned hand operated apple presses. This was my first time at such a gathering, and I was very curious to see what all would happen.
With my “writer’s eye” I watched the gathering of people and I paid close attention to the cider making process. I watched as adults and children teamed up to feed the apples into the hammer mill. This machine ground the apples to pulp and shot the pulp into a barrel.
The pulp was then poured into a form which was topped off by an inverted screw jack which pressed the juice from the pulp as the handle was turned. It took some strength.
I was a bit older than most of the guests at the party.
Perhaps I was more than a bit older, but I won’t own up to it.
This meant that I was not only obliged to help with the labor involved in making the cider, but that I also had to out perform the others. The job required two people to pull a handle into a half circle. I would pull my half circle and pass it to the other person across from me. As the press pushed tighter into the pulp, the job took more and more strength and determination. I felt rather proud of myself until this woman who must have been an inch or two over six feet and outweighed me by thirty pounds stepped up to the press, opposite me. She wasn’t fat, mind you. She was stout. I noticed that she had beautiful skin—lots of it. After she embarrassed me by proving herself stronger, I decided to take a break.
I had a glass of cider which was very, very sweet, but delicious. I walked around studying the crowd. I studied the crowd in its entirety and then started paying attention to individual people.
There was a little boy- the kind you can see the devil in at first glance. I am personally familiar with this phenomenon.
He sat serenely on his daddy’s shoulders, picking his nose.
His daddy was talking to someone else and not paying attention to me.
I looked at the little boy and easily understood his intentions. I quietly asked:
“Are you going to eat that booger?”
He gave me a funny look trying to figure out if I was joking or not.
He looked at the booger.
I could tell by the look on his face that he was trying hard to come up with an alternate decision.
He looked back at me and sadly shook his head “no”.
As the little boy continued to look at me, I decided that he had not yet madeup his mind if I would be grossed out or if I would tell on him. I was grinning. His father was having a conversation with someone else and totally oblivious of my conversation with the little boy on his shoulders.
I asked the boy, “what are you going to do with that booger?”
He grinned the devil’s grin: “I’m going to rub it in daddy’s hair.”
The little boy kept the grin on his face as he touseled his fathers hair.
He bent down and whispered loudly in his father’s ear: “I love you, daddy.”
His daddy felt the caress, muttered “I love you, too” and reached up to pat him lovingly on the butt.
Me and the kid started laughing.