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The Asplundh Truck

Yesterday in our neighborhood I saw a tree-trimming truck with a worker up in the “cherry picker.” This reminded me of the orange Asplundh trucks that used to service Martha’s Vineyard (and maybe still do).


One time walking home from the bus drop-off after a day of high school, probably circa 1989, I passed one of these trucks. There was a two-man team pruning trees away from the powerlines on Indian Hill Road.


I asked, “Hey, can I go up in that?” And they said, “Sure!”

It strikes me today as utterly unbelievable that they would do this. But they did!


I hopped in, they took me up in the cherry picker—and I remember it being totally awesome, because we got above the tree line and I could see all the way to the ocean.


I felt like one of my favorite Marvel superheroes, flying above the world.


The only other time you could go so high on the Vineyard was atop the Ferris Wheel at the Agricultural Fair in West Tisbury—but it wasn’t as fun, or as cool, as the cherry picker.


Can you imagine the liability if, God forbid, something had happened? Not just if I had fallen out or gotten injured, but even I had gone home and told my parents that I had gotten scared or something? Goodbye, jobs.


I would see that team of tree-trimming guys thereafter, as their work took them around our neck of the woods—and I would always say hello, but I don’t remember going up a second time.


One time the younger of the two men was no longer there, and I asked the older partner where he was, and the guy explained something along the lines of, “He liked cocaine too much.”


The 1980s were a very interesting time to be a kid!

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