Visiting the Tree

When I write a book, especially if it is a biography, I always wish I could visit key places in my topic’s world. I want to see the neighborhood from my topic’s perspective. I want to take photographs…and explore. I want to hear, touch, and see!

Sometimes if my book is already under contract with a publisher, I want to take photos to include in my book.

We decided to plan a trip from our home in California to visit family members who live near Boston. Highest on my list after visiting my brother, his wife, their son, his wife, their four children, our aunt and cousin was to visit this beloved pioneer, the Endicott pear tree.

My book had not yet been acquired by a publisher. It was still in the “growing” stage. But I had already fallen in love with the Endicott pear tree and its amazing story. So we looked on maps and dug around on the internet to try to find the location of this historic tree.

It was a little tricky to find. I finally found an address: Endicott Pear Tree, 100 Endicott Street, Danvers, Massachusetts.

I have to admit, I was A LOT excited when I saw this sign on the highway after flying cross country from Los Angeles to Boston. We were almost there!

Here’s the entry I made in my Writer’s Journal that I carried with my on my trip to document the research I was doing on the Endicott Pear Tree.

September 3, 2018

Today is my Grandma Betty’s birthday.

We followed GPS and it took us to a hospital located at 100 Endicott Street. We drove around the parking lot…but where was the tree?

So we drove to the parking lot next door…still no tree. I got out and started walking around while Jeff drove around some more. Finally, he spotted it! Behind the second building, past the parking lot, and down over a slight hill.

I. Just. Wanted. To. Hug. My. Friend.

But since a pretty fence surrounded it to protect it from grazing deer or mischievous vagrants, I did the next best thing. I reached through the fence and held a leaf.

Jeff and I hung around this amazing ancestor for awhile. We walked around the tree, enjoying the calm cool ocean air in this quiet spot, sheltering the nearly 400-year-old tree with a row of trees. We took lots of photos and noticed as many details as we could. Here’s a view from its side.

We also noticed that its ancient trunk was supported to strengthen it against the fierce storms and hurricanes that occasionally batter the region.

I hope you can visit the Endicott pear tree. When you do, sit down near it and read to it. Take along my book, THE VERY OLDEST PEAR TREE and read its story aloud so it can hear it. Or sit next to it and write a poem about it. It’s been the inspiration for a number of poems.

That’s what I hope to do one day when I visit this spot again.

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