Lois Long, Esther Dam, Ralph Ferrara,
and I were in the Haverstraw cemetery gathering
Tricholoma personatum. An elderly lady with
a hat on, standing by while a man she was with
was tending a grave, happened to notice us.
She called out, asking what we were doing
there. We said we were looking for mushrooms.
Her voice rose slightly as she asked whether
Lois Long’s Volkswagen which was parked nearby
belonged to one of us. The next thing she
asked, her voice sharp-edged, was whether
we had loved ones buried there. Hearing no
one of us did, she spoke firmly and loudly.
“Well, I don’t like it; and I don’t
think any one else would like it. If the
mushrooms grow here, let them!” Meanwhile
the gentleman with her paid no attention.
He just went on doing what he was doing.
And we, walking dutifully toward the little
car, passed by quantities of our favorite
mushrooms, making not the slightest attempt
to pick them. As we drove off the woman
was yelling. “Get out!” she
screamed, “get out and never come back!”