In front of Rifftides world headquarters is a magnificent gingko tree. The previous owner of the house was a medical missionary in China. When he returned to the United States, he and his family brought the gingko as a sapling. They planted it at the top of the lawn. Over eight decades, it grew huge. Every fall, the fan-shaped leaves begin changing from silky green to brilliant yellow. One day in November when the temperature is heading toward freezing, a universal gingko principle takes effect. Within hours, the tree drops all of its leaves in a show that can stop traffic.
Yesterday, a man pulled up in the street under the tree, got out of his car, gathered three armfuls of gingko leaves, deposited them in his passenger seat and drove away before we could shout, “That’ll be five dollars.”
That was yesterday. This was today.