Golden Delicious

A story about small pleasures

The house I grew up in was located on the edge of a large apple orchard. Our back yard butted up to an open field, which in turn butted against the orchard. Directly across the field were 2 trees growing golden delicious apples. Golden Delicious have always been my favorite apples. I don’t know if that’s a result of the convenience of having the trees just a short walk away or not. Of the 2 trees, only one produced the most delicious possible apples. The man who owned the orchard had once told me that I could help myself to as many apples as I wanted, but asked that I only picked them for me and my family. I always respected his wish. Only a few times would I pick more than one or two and carry them in my outstretched sweatshirt or wrapped in my jacket. My dad also liked the apples, so a couple of extras were nice. The Golden Delicious on this particular tree were huge. To me they looked no less than a foot across. I could barely get my fingers around them. It was like trying to palm a basketball. The other great part about these apples were that they were stiff. By that I mean you could eat them by breaking off a chunk with your teeth. I loved to sink my teeth into them, just enough to puncture the shiny skin and get a good grip, then rip a huge piece off with a sucking and cracking sound. The broken hunk of apple would barely fit in my mouth, but I’d chew it until it was gone, then start over with another one.

Some of my favorite afternoons were spent sitting quietly under or around that tree, eating apples. The orchard is gone now, and my favorite apple tree with it. Twenty years ago apartments were built over top of the whole thing. They’re called the Apple Ridge apartments, and they taste awful.