Lessons David Masumoto Learned from a Special Peach

Alan Suemori
Commentary, Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

In 1995, David “Mas” Masumoto’s novella, “Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm,” was published to unexpected acclaim. It was a lilting dreamscape of memory, meditation and soliloquy. Divided into four seasons, the book follows the cycle of life that spirals around a small family farm in Del Rey, Calif. Masumoto was born in the San Joaquin Valley. He is a third-generation Japanese American farmer who has devoted much of his life to saving the Sun Crest peach. But even he knows it is a lost cause.

The Sun Crest is the best peach that you will never taste. Harvested in mid-summer, it has an amber glow and a short shelf life that have doomed it to the back bins of your grandparents’ memories. Overtaken by newer breeds that explode with color and never seem to spoil, the Sun Crest is an heirloom peach that nobody wants.

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