November 28, 1913 – The day my daddy (Pete) was born. Had he lived he would be 103; as it was he lived to 63. He died from a heart attack, unexpected by those around him. After he was gone, we saw the signs. He likely knew it would be soon. We did not know. He wasn’t much of a talker. He spent his last day picking out carpet to put in their new home. The one he never lived in.
As a farmer he was much like most of his peers. Arranging with the corner grocery store and the town bank to buy on credit. Buying pigs and feeding them hoping for a good sow with big litters. How much feed will be needed to last until the cows can be turned into the fields. Tilling the soil, fertilizing, planting. Waiting for rain? Will it come in time? It did come soon enough but, alas, much too much water so little seedlings were washed over by the soil. Plant again. And again. And sometimes, again. In all of it, he never uttered a vulgar word, kicked the dog nor vented anger.
And he never worked on a Sunday beyond what was required to take care of the animals. Even when the bunkhouse was full of migrant workers. Even if it looked like rain would come in and ruin the crop. Now some of my readers might think this was going too far! To that I just say he lived what he believed regarding that issue. And in the long run, he made more money than he used up.
But lest I make him sound like milk toast, I confess he could sound rather harsh yelling at a stubborn calf or a cow that kicked over the milk bucket. And he had a dead eye when it came to shooting a rattle snake or feeding cats directly from the cow’s teat! I don’t know how he did it, but he raised kids who would much rather be obedient than take a chance on … What? I do not know.