Pat Shingleton: "Finding Water and Throwing Apples"
In the old days, attempts to locate water, was called dowsing and a dowsing rod, divining rod or witching rod was used. The rod was a Y shaped, hand-held branch that supposedly jumped upon above-ground contact with a below-ground water source. Historically, there appears to be some credibility in the accuracy and success of this type of water-finding application. Using his Barlow knife, our grandfather, Bert Price, would whittle the rod to educate us as to its benefits. Usually the "Y" shaped piece of wood was collected from one of our maple, apple, pear or cherry trees. After testing its suspected use for water discoveries we would become bored with this directive and advanced another application for the device. We would use the rods as "apple launchers." Jamming an apple on the rod and whipping it like a fishing rod would propel the apple with a greater velocity than our "pitching" arm. Battle grounds were identified within designated properties and the apple attacks would ensue. My brother Kevin holds the record for hitting two heads with one apple from a "launcher." Kevin nailed Pumpkin Head Hulick with a freshly picked Granny Smith and the same apple ricocheted into the noggin of Bob "Head" Krestel. Jessie Dominick would referee and mentioned "Those two always had heads 'like a lion'."