Friday, September 26, 2008

RevGals Friday Five: Johnny Appleseed

From Singing Owl:

Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

September 26, 1774 was his birthday. "Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundreds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!

1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)
I’m not a big fan of apples. I guess the traditional apple pie would be my answer. With a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. I have no recipe because I don’t cook unless forced.

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
No, I have never planted a tree. I grew up in a house with a yard full of beautiful pecan trees, which have a special place in my heart. I loved harvesting the pecans. We would have bushels to draw upon for baking and snacking.

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
If by roaming around the countryside you mean sleeping in tents or something, then no. I like a nice comfortable bed and a flush toilet, thank you very much.

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
I’ve always loved Robin Hood. I grew up reading the stories by Howard Pyle. I loved the idea of an outlaw prompted by a sense of justice to right inequity. The Pyle stories are full of daring adventure and a lot of humor. And I can’t forget King Arthur, the noble knights and the round table. T. E. White’s Arthur novels are delightful.

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
I read when I need to change my mood. Reading soothes and settles my mind. Also, I find that traditional jazz makes me happy—a little Miles Davis, a little Coltrane. Sigh.


  1. I love these answers...and it is fine to do that roaming with a toilet and shower. I do NOT want to travel 'round in a tent. I want an RV. :-)

  2. 1. Just plain old red apples.

    2. Yes. I planted a tree for a class in elementary school. It grew and is still here. When the weather is nice, I like to climb up its trunk, settle in its branches and write.

    3. Yes, it does. My dream is to settle in the countryside to write and to read for the rest of my life.

    4. William Tell and his crossbow.

    5. Ella Fitzgerald always cheers me up, although I have no idea why.