Dangers of Gathering Acorns

Two huge oak trees stand in front of where I grew up on Railroad Street in Derby, Maine, and late summer was a fun time for gathering acorns. Each of those two trees were about 3 feet in diameter and more than 30 feet tall. Lower limbs were trimmed so climbing was out of the question.

One summer day around 1955 a few friends, one of my 4 brothers, and I were tossing rocks into the top of the trees to knock down acorns, and learned a tough lesson about the dangers of gathering acorns. Our ammunition was rocks about the size of a child’s fist, or half that of an adult, and my older brother made a memorable toss. Ricochets bouncing off a tree limb often had us ducking for cover, but that one shot was smooth sailing until the landing.

He missed branches as his missle went flying through the top of the tree on a high arc and landed moments later with a loud crash taking out the back window of a neighbor’s car across the street. Back then there was no safety plate car windows, so the impact shattered the window in 1000 pieces (estimate only) which all fell onto the back seat of the car in tiny pieces.

We skedaddled, but the noise of the crashing window aroused the owner. Being broad daylight in a small town, escaping such mischief was rare. Solving the crime was a matter of 1 or 2 of us turning in the culprit.

Jim's handwritten signature

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