My Dad, Leslie Bernard Smith, was a large man with a long waist. He never showed his weight as the overalls that were his typical attire hid any noteworthy body shape. He was always relaxed as though to portray a steadfast certainty for what he was daily laboring. Managing an apple orchard while keeping up with the financial needs of a 1940’s family seemed not to phase this monument to trust. I once peeked at a financial book he kept and discovered an income of under $1,500.00 in 1940. Wow! did that seem like a lot of money. I never did dare look again, for I knew well, how decisive his reprimands were. I once broke a window with a baseball and hurried to find Dad and share the fact I had not planned to be bad.
My Dads long busy day had always been known by his absence. The chores and the orchard tasks took time. But we always ate meals together. My two older bothers and two older sisters, attended eight years at Hanaford Elementary one- room school until my oldest sister, Melba, was away living with Grammy Carrie while attending high school in Laconia.
I can still remember finally being able to get off the hill that noon in May of 1945 after a three foot snow fall had snapped so many maple branches with their new buds swollen. The snow packed orchard was in full bloom and; though beautiful, foretold the loss of a crop. The heavy snow fell mostly above 1,000 feet so the folks in the valley were not aware of our predicament. My Grandma, Carrie Smith had been buried in the cemetery at the far end of the Macintosh Orchard in the late afternoon as the snow began to fall. I didn’t realize how final her passing must have been for my Dad. He was to lose his Mother and witness the demise of an entire apple season overnight.
My Dad worked hard and seldom took time to even smoke his favorite pipe filled with Sir Walter Raleigh. I had loved the joke, “If you ever find Prince Albert or Sir Walter Raleigh in a can, please let them out.” But my Dad continued to handle