Our October issue of The Pender Post features pears, lots and lots of pairs of pears. Local photographer Kim Pollard took this cover shot of “Pears for Sale at Corbett House.” I wouldn’t say that the subject matter was daunting, but I was raised on the prairies in a climate not loved by pear trees. By the time I was born, most pear trees had already left Manitoba. Oak, elm, pine and wheat, those were my kind of plants…pears not so much.
“Big deal” said the voice in my head, “You can do this. Prairie kids can write about pears. If Ken Kesey, one your favourite writers, can write about life in a mental institution (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and then turn around and write a wonderful book about a small family logging operation in Oregon (Sometimes a Great Notion), then you can stretch yourself all the way to a short blub about pears. “
How embarrassing. Even a prairie kid can write about pears. I can do this.
After a quick meeting with the members of our tenacious Pender Post Research Department, the game plan was set, the information targets identified. In retrospect, I now realize that I need not have shared my silly non-pear background fears with the researchers. But our researchers were unfazed and up for the challenge. Only one researcher, the picky one, pointed out that the life experiences of my writing hero, Ken Kesey, included a stint at a veteran’s hospital as a paid volunteer in experiments with mind-altering drugs like LSD. That same researcher, advised me that the outdoors-loving Kesey had grown up in Oregon, home of many family-based independent logging operations.
Photographer Pollard advises that the pears are Bartletts, famed for their great taste and their ability to maintain that taste whether eaten by the chomp, sliced in a salad, cooked or preserved. I should add, if for no other reason than to save you the time of counting them all, there are 17 pairs of pears on our cover.
There, I knew a prairie kid could write about pears!