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Letter to the Editor

Name of a proposed subdivision west of Buda

Some of us just don’t like the name very much. The Persimmon is a secondary fruit tree that grows naturally from Virginia, sown to Florida and over to Texas (Diospyros virginiana).

Native Americans and early explorers of the New World valued this tree for its fruit which hangs on the tree into winter, providing food during the colder months.

Persimmon trees have deep tap roots and the wood is hard and resistant. The wood is sometimes used to make golf club heads.

Yes, we know most of the names of our favored trees have already been taken for subdivision names, especially the oak. We already have Oak Forest, Hays County Oaks, Spanish Oaks, and Oak Hill. We better not mention Live Oak Estates (already taken for an assisted living community.) The names that end in wood have pretty well been taken. Some well-known expamples are Goldenwood, Cherrywood, Maplewood, Brykerwoods, and Balcones Woods. Unless I missed them, the Hickory, Red Oak, White Oak, Elm, Cottonwood, Sweet Gum and Pecan are still available to use. Houston, Waco and points east seem to have a monopoly on the use of Magnolia, Cypress and Willow in their subdivision names.

Persimmon does get some points for being mentioned in folk tales and in country blues music. One of my favorites had the lines: “Raccoon up the ‘simmon tree
Possum on the ground –
Possum says to raccoon, Hey Bub
Won’t you throw some ‘simmons down?”

In the folk and old Indian tales, the persimmon is sometimes fought over by the animals.

One of my favorites is “How the Turtle’s Back Was Cracked” retold in a newer book by Gayle Ross. It is probably in your local library.

Our Ozark forebears would break open the Persimmon seed to get a weather forecast.

If the broken persimmon seed looked like a spoon inside then there will be a lot of heavy wet snow to scoop. If a fork shape appeared that meant light powdery snow and a milder winter.

If we are just in the arena of secondary trees and bushes, I would probably prefer Mulberry, Dewberry, or Paw Paw. The Paw Paw is famous in the old children’s song, “Way Down yonder in the Paw Paw Patch.” Paw Paw Place has a nice ring to it. We have some different  options here.

John B. Sanford
Buda, TX

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