Though not apparent to me, Teed, the mail carrier, became a self-made pecan expert. As told to me, during his forty years of mail service he taste-tested the fruit of ever tree that grew along his daily route, always asked permission before crossing over the fences and gather a handful, or a bagful of nuts. Of all the trees of which he grew familiar over those years – one hundred, two hundred – a very large tree growing along my grandfather’s lane won out over the others, offering thinner shells and sweeter flavor. Sometime during those years this giant became known as the Teed Tree.
Unfortunately, one stormy night it fell victim to a lightning strike. Early the following morning, my grandmother called those with an interest in the tree, my cousin, Jim, being one of them. Jim and his father, at first light, drove out to the old tree and cut off some large branches before the furniture man arrived.
Like many things in life, the limbs and nuts salvaged from Teed Tree were forgotten and lay in a vacant horse stall for some 40 years before Jim fabricated two three-legged coffee tables from the wood and then he planted the pecans.
One pecan became a seedling known as Son-of-Teed. Another eight years passed before it bore a pecan. Though it occupied a place of honor it provided none of the favored qualities of it’s fore-bearer.