Newburyport’s Farmers Market

Baker optimism. Baker resilience.

My father would say that long spring rains in May and June are great for the fish (trout), that as a result the summer scenery is lush. And, yes, he certainly would be correct in the summer of 2009. He might even look out the window, or step out the door, breath in deeply the sunlighted day, and say something like, “It’s a Perfect Day for Banana Fish,” quoting the title of a favorite short story by J. D. Salinger.

My mother might look at the sky and say that it, “is a Bluebird day,” and today on this mid July day of 2009, shemost certainly would be correct.

The wild thunderstorms of the early morning of this day in July 2009  sound to me like the thunderstorms of New England summers.Having checked the Weather Channel last night, I am prepared, I put my head under the covers and hope that “they” are right, that these thunderstorms would be followed by clearing come 10AM, and what would follow would be a quintessential New England Bluebird day.

At 11 AM I am startled that the morning has already “gotten away” from me. The sky is indeed clearing, just as predicted. I put my head out the door, and say to no one in particular, “It looks like it may be a great day for Banana Fish.”

And getting my key, I start what has become a wondered ritual, now all 4 weeks in a row. I walk down hill towards the mighty Merrimac River, towards Newburyport’s Tannery, to what is already beginning to feel iconic, the Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 10:00-2:00.

The people on the street that I meet have already been there and back. I wonder if the “pie guy” will still have a slice of homemade apple pie.

The place, like the last three weeks before, two in the rain, is teaming. There is only a short line in front of the “pie guy,” who now recognizes me, and yes, there is still a delicious slice of homemade apple pie to be had, that I know will make my day. I tell his young helper to wrap it tightly, because this delicious morsel is to go.

And I wander around Newburyport’s growingly iconic Farmers Market, admiring the folks with bags and baskets brimming with even more nutritious stuff than a homemade piece of apple pie–heads of lettuce, homegrown peas, beets. I cling to my apple pie as I watch Newburyport come together, young, old, middle aged, newcomers, old timers. There are no political power struggles going on to the naked eye,but a blending of the entire town in an organic way, over such things as local brownies and beets, in what is shaping up to be a Bluebird day and quite possibly a great day for Banana Fish.