Watching the final episode of Treme last night on HBO reminded me of the richness and incomparability of New Orleans and the life-changing 5 years that my wife and I spent living, working, and redefining ourselves there from 2005 to 2010, roughly the same timeline that David Simon and Eric Overmyer followed in the creation of Treme. We had been there just under 6 months before Hurricane Katrina hit. That portion of my experience and memory will forever be eclipsed by the following 4 and a half years dedicated one way or another to one form or another of rebuilding. Treme helped me begin to make sense of the fullness of that experience, which I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. New Orleans is an incomparable city in so many ways, and it has an enormous lesson to teach the rest of the world; and Treme, if I may generalize, should be a central component of the curriculum.
Last night’s final episode of Treme coaxed out a pre-Katrina memory. I was reminded of one of the many trees that we had to have removed from our property in Algiers Point, one of the few things we got done BK (Before Katrina). Some folks in the neighborhood called this tree a misbelieve tree or a misplease tree. It was, in fact, a Eriobotrya japonica or loquat tree, which some called a Japanese plum tree. Its trunk had been damaged, it leaned very much, and the arborist said it had to go. Those names, I’ve read, are associated with the tree’s name in either French or Italian. I’m not sure. Any ideas out there?
You’ll see this tree in living color 15 seconds into the following short video that I put together (images and terribly slow soundtrack) to celebrate our selling the property, which I’ve been told was the last house to sell in the Western Hemisphere in the summer of 2008!
Loved staying there when Jen and I visited. Looking forward to see in your next space in CA!
Looking forward to your first visit!
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The Misbelieve Tree: This is number 4 of my “plus four” picks
Hi Joyce – Got it: No. 4 of “plus four” picks. Thanks so much. Paul
PS I’ll place the order early this week and let you know what the timeline is.
Eriobotrya japonica was formerly taxonomically placed in the genus Mespilus.
Thanks for the Wikipedia reference. Back in early 2005, just after we moved to NOLA and several months before Katrina, we had a neighbor who loved the fruit and would talk about her childhood memories of the tree and its common names. As I wrote in the post: “Some folks in the neighborhood called this tree a misbelieve tree or a misplease tree.” When she pronounced “misplease,” she gave it 3 syllables, as in “miss-pull-EEZE,” accent on the last syllable. I find it interesting that “miss-pull-EEZE” and Mespilus have some obvious similarities. Thanks again for visiting and especially for commenting.