Magazine Editor Observes Wartime Fruit Operation

Jul 9, 2014

During World War II, the editor of the Southern Oregon Fruit Growers League magazine called the Pear-O-Scope, Jeunesse Butler, observed a fruit auction and how fruit was handled on the piers in New York City.

On arrival, she took a cab to the end of Franklin Street where the New York Fruit Auction Company did business on the docks. As she stepped out of the cab, a glaring man demanded, “What do YOU want?” Before she could respond a ferocious-looking policeman approached, followed by a Coast Guardsman. Butler was imaging herself in jail or a wartime concentration camp as she stammered out, “I’m an editor of a fruit trade journal and they are expecting me.” Fortunately at that moment Charlie Merrill of the auction company arrived and explained Ms. Butler was indeed invited.  Rid of the nervous security forces, a shaken Butler inspected the fruit on the pier and attended a fruit auction. When she got back to Medford, she described a wild auction full of noise and energy.  Surprisingly her hosts told her it was a quiet auction.  She admitted she hadn’t understood a thing the auctioneer said except for the word “boxes.” 

 Source: Butler, Jeunesse. "Small Town Editor Almost Lands in Jail." Pear-O-Scope July-August 1942: 12.