My Grandpa Miller grew delicious Concord grapes in his backyard. I remember sitting on the chairs outside of the arbor and watching him eat grapes. He would cut a big bunch and then carefully take one in his teeth, suck out the innards, and then spit the hull on the ground. The hulls gradually built up to a pretty massive pile. This sounds gross today, but it didn’t feel like that then—especially when I joined him. Oh, those grapes were good! They were sweet with a tart undercurrent. They were juicy, and we did have to wipe our chins. The thought of them makes my mouth water.
Frank and Tzilla Miller, Grandpa and Grandma, standing in front of the arbor.
I never asked how old was the grape vine, but it had a thick trunk. Perhaps Grandpa planted the vine when they first moved into the house in 1918.
Grandma used to can grape juice in those Kerr glass jars for the winter months. In the olden days, when Grayland, my father, was still at home, they made wine. Or, maybe it was only Dad who made the wine. Back then, the basement had a dirt floor, and he buried the wine bottles in the dirt. When they concreted the floor, some of those bottles were still there. Dad always wondered what people would think if they demolished the house and found the bottles.
Connie Lenzen, 30 April 2017