1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Boys on the Farm –Mowing

Barbara Miner  Aug 14, 2010

Today was mowing day - # 2;   I’m not an early riser, so today’s surprise mower, a tall, thin, long-haired young man arrived before I’d had my first cup of coffee. (No I didn’t know anyone was coming.)  I’d learned that my miracle mower of last time was the oldest son of the man whose father (some would say family patriarch) leases our hay (if that is what it is called in farming terms) and has for three years from my dad.  Today's mower is the youngest son. Their family patriarch and my father were longtime friends and fellow Presbyterians. The young men are being taught to “be neighborly.”  That is one of the greatest things about returning to live in a stable community. Families live here and know one another for several generations, and often each younger generation goes to school together, creating a very strong sense of community.  I am now the grandparent generation and my father and his friends were the great-grandparents, or if they started having children early, maybe even the “great-great’s.   Also, I might add, there are few if any secrets.  When describing someone, everyone knows who they dated in school, even if it was 50 or 80 years ago, who they married, who they wished they had married, what the parents thought of whom they didn’t marry, etc.  I’ve heard the same story about one lady who just moved back to town, from several sources, all containing that kind of information. 

My admiration for farm boys is different than when I lived here on the farm at age 16.  Probably I don’t need to describe what I admired about them then, but I will anyway.  They were muscular, tan, good looking, cute (there is a difference), had twinkling eyes and wonderful teeth, even when they chewed tobacco.  I never thought much about how such features developed. One classmate was without doubt the finest looking young man, as they say in the country, “in this neck of the woods.”   

Sadly though, I never saw any farm boys when I lived with my dad and stepmother on the farm, other than at school.  My dad was very strict.  If I was allowed to go to an evening event, there appeared to be a magical switch on the cattle guard – which turned on the front porch light as I was being brought home.  My dad always stood on the front porch with his hands on his hips, waiting to see me in.  He took his job of being the father of a teenage girl very seriously.  I now wonder how many hours he sat in the dark awaiting my return, so he could turn on the light at just the right time. 

Ok, I’ve digressed enough so back to why I admire farm boys today.  It is because they work hard on the farm with their fathers and grandfathers.  Kids in towns and cities frequently do not have the same opportunities to develop such strong work and family support ethics. The ones that I know who do are the children of folks who own restaurants or other businesses where children are encouraged to start work in the family business early. Farming is such a family business. I am fairly certain most farm boys don’t appreciate their opportunities to acquire these traits, but from my standpoint it is a gift they are given.

I think my guardian angel is the one who helped me return here to the farm, to my roots. Daily I am given reasons to be thankful for what I might not experience elsewhere… Also, I am provided challenges that make me stronger. 

No plumber yet, but one may be coming on Monday; here’s hoping!