Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
Times change and people change.
It's a sad but true fact. Wouldn't it be neat sometimes if such a thing weren't true? But that's the way it is, so it's a good thing that we all have our memories of the fun and wonderful times that used to be.
I once had a good friend in Brown's Park, and we were told that one couldn't successfully grow a peach tree in Brown's Park.
"And why not?" we asked.
"Well, because it gets too cold in the winter and one just can't grow peaches there."
Oh yeah? Really. Well, we were such a determined couple of gals that if someone told us we couldn't do something, we went out of our way to prove to them that "Oh yes, we could do that!"
My friend planted a peach tree. She babied it to the max, and it grew and grew until one spring, lo and behold, about a bushel of peaches appeared on the tree.
She was so excited.
She watched those peaches like a hawk. I can guarantee you that not even a fly dared getting within a half mile of her peaches. She watered it, fed it, kept the critters, children and weeds away from it, and it was the perfect peach tree.
And then it happened.
She called me one day and was so upset I could barely make out what she was saying. The peaches had just a little bit more ripening to do and then she could gleefully, happily pick them and say "Nanner nanner" to the one who said we couldn't grow peaches in the park.
A bunch of birds had discovered her peaches. Actually, I am sure they were there the whole time, sitting back on their little perches waiting for the right opportunity to swoop in and enjoy the peaches.
So, my friend was asking me if I had any idea of how to chase those birds two states over and protect her precious crop. I told her several things to try and she'd call back all mad to tell me it didn't work and what could she do next? They just kept coming and calling in all their friends and relatives to peck on her peaches
After the last call, it got pretty quiet, and I thought perhaps she had found the perfect solution. But, no, the phone rang and when I answered it, she was really up in the air. She had decided to get her .22 out and shoot every danged bird in her entire yard, and in fact, every danged bird in that end of Moffat County that so much as looked like they might swoop in on a peach!
As she was telling me all about it, with her voice raising higher and higher, she informed me that she had "just shot the beak right off one bird and the stupid thing was still hanging onto her peach, sucking the juice right out of the fruit!"
At that point, I couldn't help myself. I couldn't quit laughing. Picture it! A beakless bird, sucking peach juice. What a hoot!
She finally did get some peaches off her tree. The little light bulb went off in the top of her head, and she tied a white plastic grocery bag over each peach. Funny-looking tree, but it worked, and the peaches ripened beautifully. We were so thrilled. Alas, the peach tree was never the same after that, and it died out in a year or so.
A couple of years later, I was reading the Grand Junction newspaper and spotted an article written about some birds in Canada that scientists couldn't explain. They were showing up everywhere with no beaks.
I couldn't resist. I cut the article out, framed it and gave it to my friend. We both knew why the birds in Canada had no beaks.
Isn't it funny how things work out? Who in the world would have thought that planting a peach tree in Brown's park would result in a whole bunch of beakless birds showing up in Canada?