May 17th, 2013

When I was growing up, the people who were already grown up would always say that they remembered when this valley, whose name wasn’t Silicon yet, was full of orchards. I remember being annoyed, or maybe disappointed, because it was always a story about how much better things used to be and I didn’t like feeling like I came around after things got bad.

But when I was growing up there were still cherry orchards all over the place. There was one, in fact, right next door to the daycare center my brother and I went to, and another on the path from that house back to ours. Back then, when cherries were the only thing left but there were lots of them, this was the best time of the year. Cherry season isn’t long, but in the few short weeks that they’re ripe and available, a person can really gorge herself. Cherries, starting just about now, would be everywhere for these few short weeks. In stores, yes, but also spilling out of roadside stands on just about every corner in town.

Those days are gone. This valley is in a whole different kind of fertility mode, as we all know. But there are still some cherries orchards to be found here and there. One of the last, actually, is just down the street from this hotel. And, anyway, cherries are still growing somewhere, and wherever that may be, this is the moment to get them. Stop by Olson’s, just down the street at the corner of El Camino and Mathilda, or any one of the weekend farmer’s markets to get your fill of what used to be the specialty product of the area, before all of you started using the valley to turn life into a science fiction novel.

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