Michael Immanuel David of course was the only kid ever to visit with Farmer Cabochon. He didn’t believe the myths and stories. Perhaps as having had so many stories told about himself, only some of them somewhat true, not that he didn’t seem to cultivate somehow most of the stories. Apart from naked mini-bike riding, his black-hole pond swim, the parakeet escapade and pretending he was an Indian, he was also known to be a fire-starter – lighting piles of raked- up leaves, mostly in the night.
Michael David said he shared with him some of his home-made wine and a hand-rolled cigarette. He asked Farmer Cabochon about the stories told about him. About the wife who died young at the hands of whiskey traders during Prohibition. He said not true, he sold apple-jack to foundry workers near Floating Bridge at Ludd’s point, just like many farmers Southside. Whiskey runners knew to stay downtown and the stills were mostly out the river in land towards Rapid Falls. Al Capone’s buddies didn’t make it there because every other house in the town brewed their own beer. His wife died of pneumonia as did a lot of people back then. He never re-married because he was just too damned busy keeping up the farm.
The shambled appearance of his little acre aside, Michael David asked him about having shot trespassers with rock salt filled buck-shot shells. Farmer Cabochon replied, “You like that wine there?” Michael David said the old man then showed him his grapes vines and the grape vat and the wine barrels. “Damned kids kept sneaking in and eating my grapes, best grapes around here, the soil is perfect, the dune keeps the frost off.” He put his unfiltered cigarette butt in an old tin coffee can filled with other remains – to be re-rolled in late winter if needed. “Rock salt at 30 paces stings a bit, doesn’t even pierce the skin though you should have seen those runts running off to the woods for fear like they seen a demon.” Farmer Cabochon laughed and smiled, the only time the corner of his lips turned upward during his visit with Michael Immanuel David.