Many years ago, peach plums were as close to a fruit for the gods as it gets.
That’s the way we young’uns looked at it, anyway.
A bunch of us from the neighborhood would sneak around and watch their growth on a daily basis until they were ripe for plucking.
Around this time of the year or a little later, they were ready to grab — with or without permission.
I never recall having permission to pick them from their perch.
It is probably why they tasted better after we young’uns organized and pulled off our raids in the quiet, stillness and cover of darkness during those early summer nights.
We were good and productive at our trade, and we were always successful in getting our paper bags filled. They ran over with our loot.
Nectar for the gods, was it not?
Our bellies were full and we always got them as they neared maturity, but were still crunchy.
The plums were a size somewhere between a golf and a tennis ball, and had a golden, peachy color like a sunset.
Trees like that are gone now.
Folks either no longer care for such, or the need for it is no longer there.
Perhaps it is easier to just buy them in the grocery store, but they still don’t taste as good, look as good or come with such adventure.
Today, it is hard to find a plum tree of any kind.
It appears growth of today has destroyed their natural habitats much like the little critters that lived near them in the countryside.
Time was one could find them alongside any dirt road in rural areas.
It is even hard to fund a dirt road today.
I rode in the old neighborhood the other day where that majestic peach plum tree was located.
It has been gone many years and there are no young’uns around anymore. It is little more than just another part of a boyhood burial ground.
I recognized the very spot it shared its fruit that brought such satisfaction, and feeling of accomplishment and contentment.
Had that burial ground spot had a tombstone, surely it would read, “Gone, but not forgotten.”
William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.