Matt J.’s Memoir: Ganim Tree Farm

Matthew Johnston
Period 2 ILA
Ganim Tree Farm
My dad shifts from the road to the newly placed gravel driveway of the Ganim Farm. As we near the office building, I notice the windows have been cleaned, and are now shining in the sun. The crisp red boards that make up the outside of the building compliment the greenery on the outside. Of course, the old bench that is outside, slowly dying as it gets older. When my dad pulls up to the front of the office building, I slide across the leather seats, and push open the car door. The very second I push open the door I’m hit with the smell of pine trees, and freshly cut wood. A frigid frozen winter breeze hits me. As I step toward the door gravel makes a crunching sound under my feet. I head over to the office, and clutch the practically frozen door knob. I twist it, push the door open, and begin my work day.

In case you don’t understand, this was my second weekend working at Ganim’s Christmas Tree Farm. When I say working, I mean working, not volunteering. An actual paying job, and not to brag I’m only 13. Tom Ganim, Anthony Gagliardi, and Myself all work here, and have been every Saturday and Sunday, since after Thanksgiving. Of course we didn’t just go and ask for the job, we got hired by Tom’s dad, who is our boss. Every year Tom picks one-two people to work at his tree farm, and Anthony and I were lucky enough to be chosen. So when the time came, we headed over to do our usual work shift, 8:30-5:00. Our work consists of cutting down trees, baling trees, carrying trees, helping customers, tying up trees on cars, and of course having fun. The passage above was pretty much my start to every day, but this memoir isn’t about any old day, this was possibly the best day of the entire work season.

So on this particular particular day the three of us sat on that old bench facing against the office, feet stretched out, and relaxing while we waited for the next customer to come by. When all of a sudden Tom seemed to almost die from laughter. “Look at the horses”, he giggled. I whipped around, and to my surprise, to adult horses 6 ½ feet tall, were towering over the fence leading onto the tree field. “What the heck”, I could barely even mutter. “DOOOOOOOODE”, shouted Anthony. “Let’s go follow them”

We all jumped off the bench, and hit the ground running, gravel crunching below us. But as we approached them the horses seemed to know what was up, and shot off, faster than a rocket. I took out my phone and started to record, I mean at least I’ll have a bit of evidence when I show my family. “Hey Matt”, Anthony gasped, “Send me that video tonight”. We stopped practically sliding in the mud, ruining our shoes in the process.We looked over to the crumbling stone fence, and gazed at the giant gap in the horse fence. I glanced over at Anthony, his face a mix of confused and shock.

Anthony bent down and picked up a huge stick. He swung it forward, slamming it against a tree, causing the tree to crack and almost fall over. “This is my whacking stick”, he announced, He heaved the huge, solid, oak branch over his shoulder. “Any horses come at me and I’m going to whack them” “That’s a pretty morbid way to do it”, I replied. “Morbid but effective”.

Anthony was beginning to say something, but got cut off by an annoyed sounding grunt. We whipped around to notice the two horses had been right behind us, sitting on the other side of the fence. We walked toward the horses, intently watching them to try and predict if they would run away, or stay where they were. Anthony and I backed away, trying not to set them off. The second they turned away, we bolted.

As I ran back into the office, I glanced over at Tom who looked confused. ¨Ant and I found the horses, you wanna get the gator.¨, I ask, panting heavily from running. ¨Well ok then. Let´s just not be so suspicious about it then¨, Tom replies. He pushes open the office door, and swings around back to the garage. ¨Here help me lift this,¨ he tells Anthony and I. The two of us go to other sides of the garage. Tom pulls up the handle at the bottom of the garage door, till the it is off the ground. Anthony and I grab the sides and hoist the cold metal garage door up to the top, revealing the brand new 2017 John Deere Gator on the inside.

The John Deere Gator was probably one of the most fun things at work. A recent present to Tom’s Grandpa from Tom’s dad, the Gator as we rightfully called it was an all terrain, bright green, powerhouse that made work so much more fun, and easier. It had plush leather seats, a flatbed, lights, and best of all a horn that made an annoying but incredibly fun-to-repeatedly-press sound.

Tom, Anthony, and I climbed in, buckled up, and got ready to explore. Tom put the Gator into drive, and drove us to the back of the field, where we had seen the horses. Sure enough, the horses remained where they were.

We rolled around, and headed back up to the farm garage. Tom slammed on the brakes. We got out and headed over to a man talking to Tom’s Grandpa. He was brandishing a wide brim trucker hat with a farm logo on it, a leather jacket a couple sizes too big, jeans, and a big cigar. His silver Audi sat in the background sending out gray fumes, from the back.

Tom approached him, Anthony and I watched from a distance. From what we could hear, Tom was describing the horses running away. He motioned and pointed to where they were causing the man to smile, and pat Tom on the back. He walked over to his Audi, threw open the door, and drive away.

We knew that as the owner left, his silver Audi puttering its way out of the farm, that or help was appreciated. Sure, as of right now, it seems way less heroic, than when it did back then, heck it even felt like we won the lottery back then. But what I ended up learning from that occasion is that it never hurts to help.

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