DRAWDY – Paul Griffith was the owner of Griffith’s Used Cars in Drawdy for over 36 years. During that time there was always an apple tree located in the front of the car lot.
Griffith, 68, now has since retired and shut down the business. However, the apple tree in front of the lot has produced the most apples it ever has this year and has an interesting story to tell.
“I wanted to cut the apple tree because of its location in front of the lot, which blocked the view of the cars I was trying to sell,” Griffith explained. “When I will tell my dad about my intentions to cut it down, he would never let me.”
Griffith’s dad, Everett never wanted him to cut the tree, so he didn’t.
When has father passed away in October 1992, Griffith began to think about cutting down the apple tree.
A storm nearly helped him to accomplish getting rid of the tree without having a cut it down.
“The storm blew it over,” Griffiths said. “I thought it had killed it.”
As he went out to cut down what remained and clean up the debris, Griffith began to think about his father.
“As I approached what was left of the tree, the first thing that came on my mind was my dad,” he recalled. “So I couldn’t touch it.”
The tree sprouted back up.
“I cut all the small sprouts around it and kept the big one and it has grown back about to the size it was when dad was around,” Griffith said.
This year, the weather combination of extreme heat and lots of rain has caused the tree to produce the most apples Griffith and many of his friends and neighbors have ever seen on one tree.
“One of my neighbors is almost 90-years-old and he told me he has never seen a tree with this many apples on it before in his life,” Griffith said.
Griffith said the frost didn’t hurt the tree this year as it has in previous years.
“The frost kills out the blooms many times,” he said. “There are hundreds of apples on this tree and more keep coming,” he said. “Probably 300 or 400, if not more.”
Griffith gives as many away as he can. As a member of the Boone County VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) he has always had a generous heart and felt the need to serve his community.
“I give away tomatoes too,” he said.
Working with the local VFW is something he likes best.
“I do a lot of work with the VFW,” he said. “There a great bunch of men with the VFW. It’s important the young people learn and know about our veterans and know about those who served their country in the military.”
Griffith was at the Boone County Fair with his fellow members selling calendars to help the organization.
“We give out hundreds of baskets each year at Christmas, attend bridge dedications, military funerals and so many more things in service of the community,” he said. “They do so much for the community and I am proud to be a part of that organization.”
Griffith has lived in Drawdy all his life. He graduated from Sherman High School in 1963 and was soon drafted into the U.S. Army. He served a year in the Vietnam War with the First Calvary’s Infantry Division.
He, and his wife Cathy, have two children and four grandchildren.