So today I had an exciting opportunity writing and photographing for Haverhill Life Magazine. The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce hooked me up so I could cover the City of Haverhill’s donated Christmas tree, and today was the day they were felling the enormous evergreen. Chain saws, big trucks, sawdust flying… oh ya!
First let me explain. Haverhill families can offer to donate a tree on their property to be the big holiday feature for the City. This year’s donation was made by Ken Quimby. And it is a gorgeous tree. I made it to Ken’s house by 7:30 am-ish for the 7:45 cutting. The city team and the tree services company, Mayer Tree, started exactly on time. Very professional crews.
In between snapping a billion photos, I chatted with this nice police officer who was overseeing the transport. Great guy similarly aged as I. So the 40′ tree is cut, carefully put upon the flat bed and the city driver Steve Allen did an amazing job gingerly driving that truck through a small opening that seemed like threading a needle between wires, telephone pole, crane, and fence. The branches spanned well beyond the confines of the bed and literally dragged on the street as the tree was moved very slowly to downtown Haverhill.
I brought donuts for the crews and watched the team erect the tree in the heart of Haverhill and angled for good photos. To capture the full scenario I needed to move back. I walked out into the street, but only so deep. I was carefully monitoring for oncoming traffic. And there was a car coming.
So my new policeman friend took a step farther back than I did. Absolutely instinctively, with zero actual thought (as the word instinctively also conveys), I reached back, put my arm behind him and pushed him closer to the sidewalk.
He looked at me so puzzled and asked: “What are you doing?”
I was equally confused. I mean it was obvious wasn’t it? I explained: “I was protecting you; a car was coming.”
He said: “You obviously don’t understand how this works. I’m the traffic cop”
After a brief pause as my brain fought valiantly to comprehend what transpired and that he did in fact get to be the boss of me, we both started laughing.
In my defense, I was brought up in a family with a selectively protective mom who still reaches out to grab my hand if we cross the street together, and let me be clear, it’s not because she needs my help.
My reaction also shows that if you are my friend, even my very new friend, I’ve got your back.