Letter: Apples and oranges

As a history student and teacher, I have learned how a single event can be interpreted and reported in different ways over time, sometimes at the same time. As an individual in real life however, I continue to be amazed and puzzled at how people can spin situations to suit their interests, whatever those interests may be. In politics it no longer surprises me, but real life — life here in Rappahannock — is a different matter.

To explain, several weeks ago I wrote a letter supporting an earlier letter by my niece about a disturbing propane cannon being used by a neighboring orchard owner. In my letter, I referenced the fact that the tenants in my property, one of several properties adjacent to the orchard, had moved as a result of the constant barrage of noise from the cannon.

Last week I was surprised to see those same tenants write a letter stating that the propane cannon was not the cause of their breaking an oral lease, that in fact they had become accustomed to the noise and found it not bothersome at all. Obviously the statements of their letter do not support the previous statements of my own, and thus my amazement and puzzlement.

I confess that these former tenants had made their complaints about the noise — and gave that as a reason for their leaving — to my mother, not to me personally, as it is my mother who handles the rental. But clearly someone here is not telling the entire truth. And while I will refrain from going so far as to say where I think the untruth lies, I will say that my mother, who has been my mother for almost 54 years now, has told me many painful truths, but has yet to tell me a single lie.

In any event, the apples have been mostly picked by now and hopefully purchased by numerous tourists who took them and left their dollars for our local merchants. The cannon is quiet; deer apparently have no taste for bark or twigs and thus are free to roam through the now peaceful orchard, at least until hunting season.

And most importantly, hopefully the orchard owner will take his neighbors’ desires for the peace and quiet they have always enjoyed into account while formulating next year’s plans for guarding his apples against the intrusions of nature.

Jimmy Swindler
Laurel Mills

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