Description of Figure/Doll

Handcrafted female doll representing an apple picker. She is made from cloth that is covered with shellac or glue. Her facial features are painted on the cloth and she has synthetic hair under her floppy straw hat. She is holding her apron, which is holding the apples. The bottoms of her feet are marked “Delap ‘79 #56.”

Link to higher resolution images at ClipPix

USA: Washington

Location: Northwest state

Capital: Olympia

Main language: English

Currency: US Dollar


Construction: Cloth, straw, paper

Height in Centimeters: 23

Height in Inches: 9

Picking Apples in Washington State

Reading Level: 5.88

My name is Mabel and I live in Washington State.  When I was a teenager, I worked on an Apple farm to earn extra money. The soil here is so full of nutrients that apple trees grow beautifully. In fact, more apples are grown here than in any other state in the United States. An apple tree can live up to 100 years, and there are over 100 varieties.

Picking apples is still pretty much a “hands on” job. Basically, we use ladders, etc., to climb up into the trees. Then, we pick as many apples as we can reach and put them in a bucket or apron. When we can’t reach any more, we climb down, and put the apples in a barrel. Then it’s time to move the ladder, climb up and pick some more. It can be pretty tiring. By the end of the day, my arms ache, my feet hurt, and I am exhausted. Then, when I sleep, I think about the apples I dropped that will probably end up in apple cider!  Robert Frost, a great American poet, summed it up nicely in his poem “After Apple Picking” in 1914.

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.

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