Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Pop is…always right. Right?

At our weekly Sunday brunch we looked at nuts my niece and her children had gathered on our place. My great grandfather was a premier nut grower and grafted new varieties. I wondered if these nuts were Hickons (a cross between hickory and pecan).

My niece said: "I think these are just pecans--pecans are, I am told, a subspecies of what we call hickories. Anyhow, the leaves and husk don't match what we have on our counter. While the cross between the hickory pecan was something else."

"I'll check with Pop," I said to her as she flipped pancakes in her kitchen. After all, he's always right. Certainly he's the subject matter expert--as we technical writers say--when it comes to Family History.

"Pop, is putting the silverware on the table with the knife, fork, and spoon all on the right side of the plate the way the great aunties set the table?"

"Yes."

"Pop, was the hickory pecan (hick-an) developed by Great Grandpa E. A. Riehl?"

"No. We grew these as part of the ongoing exchange with other nut growers who pioneered new varieties."

And so forth. And as an old family joke goes, anything he doesn't know his brother knows. And, his brother (if he were alive) would say the same. Sort of like how your parents used to pass you back and forth between them when you asked permission to do something. "Ask your Mother."/"Ask your father."

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2 Responses »

  1. I've never heard about the table being set with all utensils on the same side of the plate being something from the Aunties before. Setting the table for Family Meals was my job at Evergreen heights growing up. I always set it the way my mother taught me with fork on the left and knife (curved side facing in of course) closest to the plate on the right with the spoon resting alongside it on the outside.

  2. Janean,

    Since I was the youngest child, my jobs were always--even when I got older--to set the table and unload the dishwasher.

    Aunt Janet

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