It is strange to me how some events, at the time, seem unimportant and insignificant, but turn out to be the ones that a person remembers, most vividly. Such an event took place on my way back to Plymouth. As mentioned earlier, all of this move to North Carolina, took place during early November which is the peak of the Apple Cider production, in southern Michigan.
The person who recommended me for the job at the Pulp Mill (Harold Kline) was a displaced Michigander and hadn’t had a drink of fresh cider since the year before. He asked me to bring him a gallon of fresh cider. This I agreed to do and set the earthen jug, completely filled and tightly sealed, on the floor of the rear compartment of the car.
Sometime during the following night while in the mountains of West Virginia, I heard a dull thud but paid no attention to it. Shortly after the thud, I started to smell cider. Thinking in a highly technical vein, I concluded that the decrease in atmospheric pressure had blown the cork, or probably the corn cob, out of the cider jug. I felt around, without stopping, and found the jug to be intact and sitting upright, right where I had put it, before leaving Michigan, so I didn’t stop.
The farther I went, the more pronounced the smell of cider became, so I stopped to investigate. True enough, there sat the jug, right where I had put it. When I picked it up, all that I got was an empty jug, with no bottom in it, and everything on the floor, of the rear compartment, was saturated with Harold’s cider.
It must have been a combination of reduced atmospheric pressure and the fermentation of apple juice, that precipitated a condition unfavorable to earthenware jugs. As a result, the only way that Harold could get any benefit from the cider, that I brought him, was to ride in the back seat of my car.
During the five years that we were in North Carolina, our vacations were pretty much limited to summertime trips, back to Michigan. However we did, on one occasion, take a long Memorial Day week-end trip into the mountains around Boone and Hickory, North Carolina. If you have never visited that area, at that time of year, and should you have the opportunity to do so, by all means don’t pass it up. The Mountain Laurel is in bloom, at that time, and the beauty is unbelievable, entire mountain sides are a mass of blooms.