PEACHES are in season in the South, and our recent summer peregrinations have included a side trip in quest of a basketful. The directions to the one fruit stand particularly recommended were simple - north out of town, then just past the intersection with the federal highway - and we had been there before. But as we passed acres of orchards, and stand after stand (but not the stand), we wondered whether the favored vendor had folded her tent, so to speak, or whether we were looking for the wrong crossroad.

The place appeared just as we were about to give up hope. It was a bit surreal, standing alone, unmarked, caught in its own little time warp on the side of the road. Over the roar of passing trucks, we discussed our desire for not-quite-ripe fruit and in just a minute had a basket picked out.

Nary a hint of concern in the air did we detect about the presidential race, or the Pentagon scandal, or any of the other issues that usually occupy the attention of an editorial writer. Rather it was a sweeter and more fragrant reality that we brought back from the fruit stand, to savor in the days ahead.

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