In Jerseyville, Illinois, there is the oldest fruit tree in Jersey County —a 132-year-old pear tree. It is bearing fruit again this year. The famous tree was brought here from New Jersey by Dr. Ralph Van Pelt in 1830 by covered wagon. The tree has attracted wide attention. Several years ago the Department of Agriculture and several state departments of agriculture cut scions from it for propagation.
Knowledge of that tree ought to encourage old people to believe that, no matter how heavy the weight of years, they can bear fruit and make what Jesus said a reality in their lives: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8).
Old people can remain young in spirit and remain creatively active all their lives, even as Goethe who completed Faust at eighty; even as Titian who painted masterpieces at ninety-eight; even as Toscanini who conducted at eighty-five; even as Justice Holmes who wrote Supreme Court decisions at ninety; even as Edison who was busy in his laboratory at eighty-four; even as Benjamin Franklin who helped to frame the American Constitution at eighty; even as Adenauer who showed statesmanship and leadership at eighty-four; even as Churchill who was wielding world-wide influence at eighty-five, even as ex-president Herbert Hoover who wrote history at eighty-seven.
CURIOUS CHARLEY—"Do nuts grow on trees, father?"
FATHER—"They do, my son."
CURIOUS CHARLEY—"Then what tree does the doughnut grow on?"
FATHER—"The pantry, my son."