News from Vermont #249 -- Sweet and Sour Visitors

November 4th, 2011

Hello again Maple People,

The man was drawn to our sign " Harry's Sugarhouse". He introduced himself as Harry Foster and he was from England. I shook his hand saying that even though everyone called me Burr, I was also a Harry, Harry Morse Jr. We talked while his fellow bus passengers were entering the sugarhouse and just before he joined them, something he said struck me: "Did you know that there has never been a Harry hanged?". We laughed but as he walked away I heard him say "it's true, y'know."

Our business this time of year attracts lots of "characters" like Harry Foster and after his visit, I knew I had to write about a few others while they were fresh on my mind...take the lady from Scotland whose accent was a as thick as maple butter: She, like Harry Foster, was in a group from the United Kingdom and she approached me after my sugarhouse show. As I've said before, my sugarhouse show has a bit of "local color" in it. "Oye haven't loffft this mooch since oye left Scootland a week agoo!" she said. "Ye're very foony...ye moost h've Scootish blaahd in ye, lahdd!". At that point, she cast a wary eye toward the rest of her group which was departing the sugarhouse..."Those English all droive me bahty ye know...their 'umor's droier'n th'divil hi'self!". With that she slapped me a good 'un on the back and rejoined her group.

My job this time of year gives me ample opportunity to study human nature. I'll be standing at the corner of our sugarhouse as buses drive up. It's usually important to get folks into our place quickly and expediently but once in a while there's a group that simply will not respond. Unlike the proverbial "clowns spilling from a Volkswagen", these folks are more like honey bees waking from a long winter. They appear at the bus door one at a time. They painfully light on the gravel and slowly amble away but in all different directions. Some are led by digital camaras held at arms' length; others go a short ways and just stop and gaze but all seem impervious to the guy over at the broad doorway waving his arms like a windmill.

I'm never rude because I know the importance of being a good host but the other day I got in a pack of trouble. Tommy's cows had gotten out the day before and in an effort to get them back in, I stood at a gate holding a bucket of grain hollering "come boss, come boss, c'm, c'm, c'm, come boss". We finally corralled 'em all but the day after, I was still quite in the "bovine" mode. As I stood at the corner of our sugarhouse, all of a sudden totally subconsciously and much to my horror, I realized I had been hollerin' "come boss, come boss, c'm, c'm, c'm, come boss" to the folks getting off the bus. I had no idea how long I'd been doing it but I certainly had their attention! There's really no way one can apologise for a mistake like that so I didn't...I simply got them in the sugarhouse and did my show as courteously as possible under strained circumstances. That was the one group all season that never "warmed up" to my "local color"!

A huge percentage of people who come to our place are, as my late mother would say, "perfectly lovely people", but I recently got an email from one of the other persuasion. She had been to Morse Farm over Labor Day weekend obviously expecting something different than we provide. She spat words like "pathetic, messy, pitiful" and very unfairly compared us to the wine industry back in her native New York State. Since I normally keep my writing quite upbeat, I'll not dwell on this woman's critique long except to say that after I finished reading her epistle, I felt like tasting some wine for reasons other than "aroma" and "bouquet"!

Yes, we get all types here at Morse Farm and reality suggests that we can't "win 'em all". There have been many times, in fact, when we have used criticism to make things better. A little "healthy" criticism goes a long way, you know. I naturally enjoy the happy people, however, more than I do the disgruntled. Take Harry Foster, for instance...I'll never forget his pronouncement about certain "immunities" to hanging. In fact, after I got "raked over the coals" by that New York woman, I was kinda glad my name is Harry. I want to thank you all for having "good" thoughts about Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks and what we have to offer...Thanks! Now that foliage season is over, we hope we can serve to make your Holidays a little better through our offerings at www.morsefarm.com. How about just clicking there for a look-see? It's a brand new site and offers not only total security to purchasers but maple recipes, action videos and good cheer. We really appreciate your support!

Your Maple friend,