Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 86

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 86

Of course all the marketmen knew him, and they knew, too, his love for green things.

“What do you think of these apples, Mr. Beecher?” one marketman would stop to ask.

Mr. Beecher would answer heartily: “Fine! Don’t see how you grow them. All that my trees bear is a crop of scale. Still, the blossoms are beautiful in the spring, and I like an apple-leaf. Ever examine one?” The marketman never had. “Well, now, do, the next time you come across an apple-tree in the spring.”

And thus he would spread abroad an interest in the beauties of nature which were commonly passed over.

“Wonderful man, Beecher is,” said a market dealer in green goods once. “I had handled thousands of bunches of celery in my life and never noticed how beautiful its top leaves were until he picked up a bunch once and told me all about it. Now I haven’t the heart to cut the leaves off when a customer asks me.”

His idea of his own vegetable-gardening at Boscobel, his Peekskill home, was very amusing. One day Edward was having a hurried dinner, preparatory to catching the New York train. Mr. Beecher sat beside the boy, telling him of some things he wished done in Brooklyn.

“No, I thank you,” said Edward, as the maid offered him some potatoes.

“Look here, young man,” said Mr. Beecher, “don’t pass those potatoes so lightly. They’re of my own raising—and I reckon they cost me about a dollar a piece,” he added with a twinkle in his eye.

He was an education in so many ways! One instance taught Edward the great danger of passionate speech

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