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Dedham Days By Bruce Wallace
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In the autumn it was apple fights. Maine was as burdened down with apples then as Mallorca is with lemons and olives today—but apples are better for having fights with. They hurt like hell but... More > they don’t kill. The daily war. You cut an alder stick and jammed the apple on it and snapped it like a whip and the apple went twice as fast and far as if you'd just thrown it and then it crushed itself into someone’s ear. Oh, great fun. The alders themselves—not the European alder but the small swamp-alder that grows in Maine—also made admirable weapons. When we didn’t have apples or snowballs to hurl at each other, we always had alder-spears, pointed and potentially deadly. By tacit agreement, a cliché, rock-fights were out, as were machine guns and atom bombs. Of course pebbles were allowed if you were sensible enough to have a slingshot, which we all did.< Less

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