As I finished Joanne Rocklin's One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street, I wondered what that mulberry tree has witnessed. The orange tree in the novel speaks to readers in its own chapter, telling about how Valencia orange trees came to the neighborhood, how it became the lone tree on the block, and providing a list of all the things that have occurred underneath and within its branches. The children and adults on Orange Street share their words and thoughts as well. Three girls form the Girls With Long Hair Club (which potentially changes names due to changing circumstances), one boy desperately seeks to perfect a magic trick and attract the attention of a girl, a baby brother struggles to find joy and speech after a traumatic brain surgery, an elderly resident searches for her memories among the people and events of the present, a long-ago resident returns to remember - and sketches the tree and folks underneath it, and their stories are all told along with the house/lot numbers of Orange Street.
Add to their narration Ethel Finneymaker's recipe for ambrosia, the rescue of a baby hummingbird, a creative set of grandparents, the need to look up words in Ethel's print copy of the OED, and historical references to important events. It all adds up to an infrangible (a word Ethel uses) tale! In her memoir, Ethel says, "The street I lived on was like a book of stories, all different, but bound together." I like to think my street, the people familiar to me, the yard, and the trees are like that as well.