Sunday, August 17, 2014

Keeper of the Bees

When The Man and I first moved to Atascadero we frequently drove by a house with a table set up in the driveway. The table displayed a variety of mason jars with golden amber liquid as well as a metal box. Usually no one was around so if you wanted to buy a jar of honey you would just leave your money in the box. It was, you know, the honor system.

Driving by the green house became our favorite route because right next door housed a family of goats in a little paddock: a big white buck, mamas, and babies. In the early spring, lots and lots of babies. This was before we got our own Boys and many a time we would pull off the main road and watch the silly antics of the kids. (Coincidentally, this was the same herd that came to live next door to us for a brief period.)

It was just a matter of time before we started buying the home-grown honey. Most of the time it didn't seem like anyone was home and we left our money in the metal box. Only once did we meet Mr. Stoltey as he pulled up into his driveway. We said "howdy" and he came over to explain the different varieties and flavors of the honey he made. Before we left he thanked us for stopping by and buying his honey.

The Last Honey

Mr Stoltey passed away last October at the age of 77. He leaves behind, Jean, his bride of five years, and his customers who will remember his honor-system honey, sold from a table in his driveway.