My first memory is of the Hamm orchard.
When we were little kids back in the mid ’forties, the first thing Karen and I would do when Dad’s brakeless ’36 Plymouth came rolling to a stop just before running into the irrigation ditch at the July 24 reunion would be to tumble out of the doors and windows and go thundering off to the orchard to join our cousins and Stan. Stan, who was unofficially known as Snake, had been adopted by Onkel Abe and Tante Anna and would still have been a student at Inverness High if he’d paid more attention to the rules. They’d picked him up either from an orphanage, which was Tante Anna’s story, or from a reform school, which was the more widely accepted theory.There were also different opinions of how he’d picked up the nickname. It was either because he enjoyed swimming in Beaver Reservoir on the Snake River, which was Tante Anna’s explanation, or because the name fit the reform school theory, which was Aunt Lena’s view of the matter. I myself leaned toward Aunt Lena’s opinion, figuring she was probably the one who’d started the practice of calling him Snake.