Mark and I worked in the cherry orchard (mentioned previously) owned and run by my Uncle Al when we were young. Harvesting cherries is pretty demanding. Sweet cherries have to be picked by hand because they need the stem to stay fresh. And they need to be harvested early in the morning to maintain their moisture. We’d get up around 5:00 am, get dressed, eat, and head out to the orchard where we’d work all morning, wrapping up around noon. We’d have our haul for the day weighed and get paid by the pounds of cherries we picked. Pie cherry harvesting is different. It relies on tractors and follows a different schedule – 10:00 pm to 10:00 am. Mark and I worked out there from when we were about 6 until we were about 16.
A couple of things we did were very memorable. We would stay at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Pleasant View (driving out every morning would have been crazy from where my parents’ lived, almost 45 minutes away). Since their kids (my cousins) had all grown up and moved out, though some still helped with the harvest, we largely had the basement of the house to ourselves. We typically tried to sleep during the day during the pie cherry harvest, but during the sweet cherry harvest we’d have most of the afternoon to blow. We’d often play Uno. We amassed massive Uno decks numbering in the hundreds and would play marathon Uno games lasting hours. We’d also ride our bikes down to a local convenience store where we’d buy treats. A favorite during the hot Utah summers was Icees. However, we couldn’t spend all of our money as it was also the money we would use to purchase our ‘school clothes’ for the upcoming school year.
I put together a little Google Map with some of the prominent locations:
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