Alderson produced some really nice people who were very very
beneficial to a young lad like myself. One of the really great men I
had the privilege to know was Charley Crawford. He was a farmer and he
hired me a couple of summers to help put up hay for him. It was my
great privilege to run along the wagon and throw hay bales on to the
wagon for 8 or 9 hours a day. Sometimes, remember I was young,
probably 15 or 16 my anger would erupt at his son Henry, who drove the
wagon. Henry was younger than I was and it really was a hoot to enjoy
our exchanges. Anyway, Margret was his really nice daughter, and I
really liked her as a person, although my level of sophistication
probably resembled a few grunts and questions such as where can I
dispense of this wonderful chewing tobacco.
Besides the magnificent
exercise putting up hay afforded me, I remember Mrs. Crawford's
incredible lunches we all enjoyed. At 12 o'clock Charley would tell
us its lunchtime and we would all head for the house. Once we were
seated at that huge table, Charley said grace and we all started to eat
what can only be described as a sumptuous feast. We had mashed
potatoes and gravy, steak and chicken, peas, corn on the cob, green
beans and cole slaw, that was so good it cannot be described in English.
We had the very best milk you ever drank and as much as we desired. Then
we would get ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, followed by a wonderful, and I do mean wonderful apple pie. At about twelve forty I would
finish eating and Charley told us to go out and rest until we started
back to work. As for me, I always laid down on the ground and felt
groggy until at one o'clock until Charley would say lets get back to work.
I was lethargic for approximately 10 or 15 minutes, then my
vigor would return and we all worked very very hard until 5 or 6 in
the evening. Charley, would say lets call it a day and then somehow I
got back to Alderson.
Not having a car, my best recollection is Charley
took me back and then picked me up in the morning about 6 o'clock . Anyway, you talk about one great guy and that was Charley Crawford and
his wonderful wife. I tried to give him a real day's work for hiring
me, but it would be impossible to repay him for the work he offered me
and the spirit he showed me. Its sad and a fact of life, there are so
many who were so good who are no longer with us, Charley and his wife are
definitely among them!