Boursalu Mari lived on Dexter Avenue, around the corner from Nichols Avenue which led straight up to Coolidge Hill Road in Watertown, where my dad lived during his junior high school years. Boursalu Mari had not always lived on Dexter Avenue in Watertown; she had escaped a genocide in the faraway city of Boursa, faraway from Giligia from which most of the Armenians in Watertown had fled.
In the fall, when the apples were ripe, young Peter and his friends loved nothing more than the challenge of climbing the fence surrounding Boursalu Mari's yard because Boursalu Mari had the only apple tree on Dexter Avenue. After clambering up her apple tree, they stuffed their pockets with apples. They knew Boursalu Mari was tough and brawny and loud and that she would beat them if she could catch them. So day after day, they would jump the fence, climb the tree, take what apples they could, and flee, Boursalu Mari shouting after them. One day, however, Boursalu Mari came out of her house before the boys could climb out of the tree. She hollered out to them in her loud, husky voice: Bedros, you don't have to jump the fence to get apples, or run away when you see me; you do not have to steal the apples; you're welcome to all you want any time.
Somehow Boursalu Mari's generosity worked in reverse. The boys no longer wanted the apples as the fruit was no longer forbidden.