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Mountain Home Magazine

Lady Liberty

Roger Kingsley

The other day I received a catalog in the mail from Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co., located in Missouri, and their partner Miller Nurseries of Canandaigua, New York. Leafing through the pages reminded me of the time I was browsing through their choice apple varieties and noticed that they were offering a half- price sale. Since I had ordered plants from their nursery in the past, and was impressed with the quality, I placed an order for some disease-resistant apple trees called Freedom.

Several days later, when my wife and I returned home from visiting some family, I found the package of four-foot-tall trees where UPS had left them. With the sun going down, and rain in the next day’s forecast, I grabbed the package and my planting tools and headed for the field.

I was setting the fourth tree in the hole when a name on the yellow label attached to the trunk caught my eye: Lady.

Lady?? What the heck?? I dropped my shovel and went back to the previously planted trees and inspected their labels, which, to my surprise, also said Lady. “What’s going on here?” I thought. “I ordered the Freedom variety, not Lady!”

Disgusted and confused, I finished planting the trees just before dark, then headed home.

The next day I phoned the nursery to explain the situation. “I ordered the Freedom variety but the labels say Lady,” I told the sales person. Apologizing for the blunder, she told me she would promptly send the correct variety, no charge, plus I could keep the ones that I’d already planted. Apparently, workers in the packing and shipping department put my trees in someone else’s package, and their trees got stuck in mine.

I’m still wondering who got the better deal...the other customer for taking my Freedoms, or me for taking their Ladies! 

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