Fine dining on the course

  Chokeberries    -- Photo by Michael Jeltsch


-- Photo by Michael Jeltsch

‘’From 1930 to 1931 I caddied at the Winchester (Mass.) Country Club…. I didn’t mind the work, or toting the bag, but I had no eyes for the ball. There were blueberries to look for. There were chokeberries – astringent but habit-forming – to pick and cram into the mouth. In season I pinched the flower sprout of chickory and went home with a pocketful to sweeten that night’s salad. Mushrooms popped up among the trees where my golfer’s ball remained forever lost. Later the milkweed pods swelled day by day, to pop fragrantly open and then drift off as lint. An eggshell under a tree was a command to look up till I saw the nest.  A horse chestnut stumped out of its prickly pod was a topaz, a useless one, but polished bright. On weekends during school the apples lit.’’

-- From the late poet John Ciardi’s “Summer in Winchester,’’ an essay he wrote forArthur Griffin’s New England: The Four Seasons.