Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Guest Blogger

This website welcomes news tips and stories from its readers.
Today’s Special “Guest Blogger” is a CHS ’51 grad who writes about the father of CHS54’s Carol Bennett:

"If he had stayed away from the plant nursery in Florida, chances are it never would have happened.

But, as it was, what could Ed Bennett do?

He visited the nursery with his brother and sister–in-law to see about buying some shrubs and there were the orange trees, dozens of them, barely two feet tall.

It had been a long time since he had seen little ones like that. He thought back 39 years, back to the time he left his fathers orange grove between Lakeland and Plant City to make his living elsewhere.

As a Western Union telegrapher, he had been back to Florida many times, he had seen many orange trees, but the little ones with oranges the size of golf balls…..

He found himself reaching into his pocket and paying the man $6.50 for an orange tree. He put it in his car, and he brought it back to Charlotte. He put it in his back yard at 2413 E. 5th St.

It’s still small enough to put in the basement on the chilly days. When it gets too large for that, Ed Bennett is going to build a shelter for it next to his garage. He’s going to keep the shelter warm with canned heat. He’s going to keep that orange tree going.

All the neighbors have come to see it.

“I think they’re doubtful about the whole thing.” Mr. Bennett admits.

His wife has her doubts too.
“She says I’m making a fool of myself,” Mr Bennett confesses.

But who could agree with a judgment like that” What man doesn’t have an orange tree, or some kind of dream tucked in his aspirations?

Climate and temperature at 2413 E. 5th St. do not lend themselves to the cultivation of orange trees. But climate and temperature, you see, have nothing to do with it.

-Charles Kuralt CHS'51

Charlotte News June 6, 1956