Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cherries on Top

"You picked a hot day to do all this," the lady at the orchard gate said.

Cherries at Levering OrchardI had to smile as I dropped Unit 4's shifter into Drive. Through the windshield, a deeply rutted road defied me to take it all the way up the mountain. Miles away, colleagues slogged through squalid animal shelters, school board hallucinations, grizzly collisions out on the interstate. I, on the other hand, was tasked with watching cherries ripen on the vine...

"It's hotter in the ghetto," I assured the gate lady, whose puzzled expression stuck with me the rest of the day. Guess I should have explained myself a little better, let her know I wasn't just some camera-toting gasbag - but an earnest journalist from Furniture City who was glad he wasn't stuck in some cumbersome scrum. Sure, there's adventure there. But so too is their the whiff of industrial strength hairspray, the death rattle of a dozen live trucks and frantic voices bleeding from deeply-seeded earpieces. Is it any wonder I pitched the kick-off of cherry season to the suits this morning?

No, but it is a bit of a shock they went for it, considering the life cycle of these beautiful drupes really isn't news at all. It's botany. But rather than argue semantics with a group who could send me on a walking tour of a manure convention, I slunk out of the room all sullen like - just so they'd think nothin' was wrong. A few minutes later I was on my way, hurtling uphill as my rather feminized Ford Freestyle would take me. By the time I arrived at the orchard gates, I'd crossed a state line, polished off some rather righteous snack crackers and nearly driven off a cliff by staring at my GPS, instead of the trusty windshield. Once inside the orchard the fun really began as I opened the sunroof, wrestled the steering wheel and stopped repeatedly just to dig on the view.

In the end, I returned with a mildy serviceable look at the cherry crop of southern Virginia. The shooting was so-so, the writing rushed, the editing a bit pedantic. But the the drive...the drive was nothing less than spectacular. Too bad that doesn't show up on screen...

1 comment:

FlutePrayer said...

Please stop almost driving off cliffs. Thanks!