|Lucky, Tom, and me, under the mimosa tree.|
In the corner next to the road, my absolute favorite tree; a pretty little mimosa. The mimosa tree had expansive branches that made a wonderful shade to play under, and it's beautiful pink flowers were a sight to see. But the mimosa was custom made for climbing. It had two main trunks that grew farther apart the higher you climbed, which wasn't actually very high, but when you're little, even a small tree seems big. We kept the grass wore down under the tree, we spent so much time there. After we grew too big to climb trees, the mimosa became a favorite of my nieces and nephews, particularly with the installation of a swing under one of its branches.
Just west of the mimosa was a mulberry tree. I haven't seen a mulberry tree in a long time, but ours always bore fruit. Mulberries, to the best of my recollection, looked like raspberries. Ours, unfortunately, almost always had a little white worm inside them. But that didn't stop an occasional visitor to the mulberry tree, though - the neighborhood monkey. Yes, we had a monkey on Pine Street. Well, actually, he belonged to our neighbors, George and Beuna Hawkins. They had somehow gotten a little monkey for their kids, Steven and Johnny. The monkey was a bit of an escape artist, and whenever he found himself free he would make a bee line for our mulberry tree. That's where he would be recaptured, happily munching on the tasty fruit. I don't know what eventually happened to the monkey, but I guess he must have escaped one too many times, and was sent on to other mulberry trees.
West of the mulberry and on the other side of our driveway, at the end of our hedge, was a sweetgum tree. At least I think that's what was there; I may just be mixed up because that's also where we put out the garbage to be picked up, and I remember that there was a kindly old man who drove the garbage truck who always gave us sticks of Juicy Fruit gum. You see, in early 1960s Waldron, the weekly arrival of the garbage man was an event worth of attending, so my sister and I made it a point to be standing there, I guess by the sweetgum tree, whenever it was garbage day.
Halfway up the driveway, in the middle of the hedge, was what Daddy identified as a possum grape vine. I'm not sure what a possum grape looks like, because Daddy's possum grape vine never bore any grapes. But year after year, it put on green leaves and acted like it had full intentions of producing a crop. But, with the capable guidance of my older brothers, I did manage to pick up the skill of smoking grape vine. A little piece of possum grape vine, lit at one end, and inhaled until it burned your tongue so badly you had to toss it away.
Another one of Daddy's projects was found at the upper end of the hedge. This was his Indian peach tree. The Indian peach tree did in fact produce peaches; tiny, dark, dried-out looking peaches that didn't look like anything you'd want to eat.
|Google Maps image of Mama's magnolia tree today.|