We’re on the road for a week and away from connectivity. Before leaving, we picked a giant bin of tasty backyard cherries from our tree, and we’ve been happily spitting the pits out the car window as we ramble. Which prompts a re-posting of this great Tangled Nest entry written by Tom in the summer of 2009 (when the cherries came more than two weeks earlier – this post was dated June 29th 2009, while this week our cherries are just coming to full ripeness as we head into the second half of July!)
I was leaning way off the top of the ladder, swaying with the cherry tree in a light breeze as I reached for a cluster of ripe fruits just beyond my grasp, when the UB40 song popped into my head.
“Cherry oh, Cherry oh, baby.
Don’t you know I’m in love with you
If you don’t believe it’s true,
What else is there for me to do?”
As the cherries fell into my basket, UB40 was soon joined by a list of other cherry touchstones. Neneh Cherry. And the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. And a vague memory of a Don Cherry from Canadian hockey broadcasting, and maybe one from jazz? Oh and Cherry Coke, and Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, and didn’t Cherry Lane Music publish Elvis?
The cherry tree in the corner of our back yard is exploding with fruit this year. It is by far the best crop we’ve had in the five years we’ve been in this house (apparently it’s a bumper crop all over the state). I love cherries, look forward to them every summer, and am happy to graze on them from a bowl within arm’s reach, pretty much continuously, throughout the few wonderful weeks when Washington’s cherries pop onto the market.
Claire and I have been having so many pit-spitting contests that the yard and garden paths are littered with pits and Lyanda finally put her foot down and insisted we use a pit bowl. We grumblingly comply when she is looking, though I feel pretty strongly that the restriction-free spitting of cherry pits and watermelon seeds is one of the great joys of summer.
Cherry Garcia. Erma Bombeck’s “If life is a bowl of cherries…” book. The cherry symbols on slot machines. Cherry bombs. As we enjoy lunch on the patio, we pit our pop-culture cherry knowledge against each other. Lyanda remembers Agent Cooper’s fondness for cherry pie, but my own Twin Peaks cherry memory stems more from Audrey Horne. Wow.
Say, wasn’t there a glam rock anthem, “Cherry Pie?” I can almost sing it, it’s there on the edge of my too-full pop culture memory bank, I picture red bikinis and big haired rockers in spandex, but it takes coming off the patio to the internet to remind me that it was a Warrant song, and to push “Cherry oh, baby” out of my head, replaced by even more inane lyrics (“Taste so good, make a grown man cry, sweet cherry pie”) and cheesy guitar riffs.
And then in that way that only the internet can, Warrant videos on YouTube lead to discovering that a band called Wild Cherry recorded the classic song “Play That Funky Music,” and it’s just a hop, skip, and Google jump from there to discovering that cherry tattoos are very, very popular. Lots and lots of cherry tattoos.
Mmmm, cherries. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what these nice folks are trying to express with their ink, but just like the slot machine cherries, I’m going to posit that it has something to do with getting lucky.
We’re not sure what variety our cherries are. They are a textured light red color even when fully ripe, and plenty tasty but not overwhelmingly sweet (which makes them all the better for eating one after another after another all day long without stopping). If you have any thought on the variety, let us know. If you need a sample, stop on by, we have plenty.
(And we’d love your help in brainstorming more PG-rated cherry cultural references).
Originally Posted June 29, 2009.