I am embarking on a journey, a campaign, if you like, a sort of Johnny Appleseed-like endeavor.
One of America’s fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800’s. There really was a Johnny Appleseed and his real name was John Chapman. He was born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. His dream was to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Although legend paints a picture of Johnny as a dreamy wanderer, planting apple seeds throughout the countryside, research reveal him to be a careful, organized businessman, who over a period of nearly fifty years, bought and sold tracts of land and developed thousands of productive apple trees.
His adventures began in 1792, when John was eighteen years old. He and his eleven-year-old half-brother, Nathaniel, headed west, following the steady stream of immigrants. In his early twenties, John began traveling alone, which is how he spent the rest of his life. Nathaniel stayed behind to farm with their father, who had also immigrated west. John continued moving west to Pennsylvania. From there he traveled into the Ohio Valley country and later, Indiana. He kept ahead of the settlements and each year planted apple seeds farther west.
He always carried a leather bag filled with apple seeds he collected for free from cider mills. Legend says he was constantly planting them in open places in the forests, along the roadways and by the streams. However, research suggests he created numerous nurseries by carefully selecting the perfect planting spot, fencing it in with fallen trees and logs, bushes and vines, sowing the seeds and returning at regular intervals to repair the fence, tend the ground and sell the trees. He soon was known as the “apple seed man” and later he became known only as “Johnny Appleseed”.
As Johnny Appleseed planted seeds that grew into apples, orchards full of them; I am planting seeds in the minds of young lawyers. Last month, I began a series of lectures at the local public defenders’ office. We are calling the series “DUI Boot Camp.” My goal is help these hard-working lawyers develop a new set of tools to help them better handle these difficult cases. It is a “pay-it-forward” endeavor.
This afternoon, I will teach the second segment, dealing with what the Government likes to call “field sobriety exercises.”
Many thanks to Public Defender Diamond Litty, for allowing me to play Johnny Appleseed, and to Assistant Public Defender Shane Manship for helping me develop the program providing me the opportunity.
Thanks also to Coach Dean Smith, who said, “You should never be proud for doing what’s right. You should just do what’s right.”