Aunt Jemima on the Run
One of my duties at the CCC camp of Co. 1229 Camp SCS-6 Machias NY was working near the tapping of maple trees. We were working in a forest where they grew and harvested maple trees for syrup. To do this one would hammer a metal spout into the tree about four or five feet off the ground. The tree sap would start dripping out soon enough. To catch the sap you would hang a metal bucket fromthe spout handle. Then you just left it alone for a while. When you came back you had a bucket of sap to take back to camp to be boiled for syrup or maple candy, like you use on pancakes.
While we did other work in the area, cutting firebreaks, the buckets would sit there slowly filling. It was hot weather and hot work. Well pretty quick you'd be so thirsty your tongue would be hanging out for a drink. Meanwhile there is the sap dripping into the bucket. Somebody tried it and found out it was watery, not syrupy yet, and quenched your thirst. It was also sweet like pogey bait. It didn't take long before everyone was taking slugs of sap out of the buckets. It was good. It seemed like another one of those things experienced out in the woods in good company which was just good living.
Unfortunately there is a reason they boil the sap to make the syrup. Maple tree sap has an effect upon the young man's body which suffice it too say shouldn't be discussed in polite company. But that day in the woods of upstate New York Montezuma's Revenge became Aunt Jemima's Revenge! You could say we ran all the way back to camp.
- A recollection of a story told by James Justin to his family
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