The Peaches of Honesty

Yesterday as I was making the return trip from dropping Seth off for college in Utah, I stopped in St. George for gas. Whilst I was contemplating the cleanliness of the restrooms (tolerable, yet still a little disconcerting) I decided, on a whim, to ask the clerk for directions to the Jacob Hamblin house located nearby. We happen to be direct descendants of his--I mean Jacob Hamblin, not the clerk-- and I thought Shayla would enjoy learning a little about her ancestry. So I surprised her with a little detour into the past.

We were the only tourists there so we got some one-on-one time with the sweet sister missionary who was conducting the tours. I told her that Jacob was my Great-great Grandfather and for Shayla that means THREE GREATS and a grand! We didn't have a camera with us, so the missionary took some pictures and she said she would email them--so those will be a coming attraction. In the meantime, we enjoyed the tour and I got overwhelmed with emotion telling the Sister that Priscilla is the wife we are related to as we stood in Priscilla's room. She was set apart as a midwife and was promised she would not lose a mother or a baby. I told her the story of Priscilla crossing the plains as a little girl and almost getting trampled in a buffalo stampede. That knowledge courtesy of the Three Sisters project wherein I spent nine months writing a script for a family reunion movie my cousin filmed. That's another post altogether!

At the end of the tour, we were given some peaches that were grown on trees that were part of Jacob's famous orchard. We took our peaches and our warm feelings of time well spent with our hearts turned to our fathers (and mothers) and hit the road--we still had 6  hours of driving ahead of us.

All was well until I realized that the California border was coming up. The border where you must declare any fruit or nuts you might have stashed in your vehicle. I was enjoying some very tasty grapes I had purchased in Utah and started eating them faster so I wouldn't have to give them up, when I remembered the peaches!  I wanted those peaches. They were special peaches--part of my family heritage and I hadn't even gotten a bite of one yet! My first thought was to eat them too--and wake Shayla up and make her eat one--for the sake of family history and all. But I realized that would not be wise as we still had a few hours to go and I am not a fan of public restrooms--even tolerable ones.

Then, I had a wicked thought. I could just hand over the grapes and not mention the peaches. Those people at the border are not really interested in a couple of peaches. I wondered if they had fruit-sniffing dogs and I pictured myself spread-eagle on the ground getting handcuffed when they discovered the famous Jacob Hamblin peaches lurking behind my seat in a brown paper bag. Really it was just a fleeting thought.

My next thought was this:

My ancestor is famous for his honesty. This story of Jacob Hamblin's son trading a horse for blankets with an Indian chief is often used in Primary manuals as an example of honesty.

I was immediately chagrined to think that I had even considered trying to smuggle those
peaches across the California border.

So by the time I pulled up to the man in the orange vest asking me about fruit and nuts, I had the grapes in my hand. He took them as I fished around behind my seat for the peaches.
"I have some peaches too--I can't reach them--I'll have to get out of the car and find them."
He glanced at the grapes and thrust them back at me.
"These are fine. Have a nice day."
"What about the peaches?"
"Have a nice day."

So, since he insisted, I did have a nice a day. And I got to keep my integrity and my  peaches.
Honesty really is the best policy.


Anna said…
Those California fruit inspectors are scary! Well, they were scary when I was 10.

How did the peaches taste?
Amelia said…
This story is all kinds of awesome! Thanks for sharing it. I've been to the Hamblin home many times and I actually own that book!
mamagale said…
I agree Anna--they seem a little intimidating. And the peaches were as sweet as a clear conscience! Thank you Amelia! My sister was asking where I got that book--I don't know if it's still in print.
Jennifer S said…
I am also a descendant of Jacob Hamblin and was searching for this very book when I came across your blog! We had this book as children and wish I could find another copy. I enjoyed your story about the peaches as well. :)

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