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A Memory of being a kid
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Joe the Wrangler    Posted 10-09-2001 at 15:14:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I remember when i was a kid there was a man that lived near us a couple miles away he was in about his late 50s a very nice man he lived alone on about 80 acres in the river bottom it was worthless land full of rocks and trees and low spots the river would claim every spring. I use to go over and vist him all the time he lived alone and he loved my company he taught me many things about life and how to live off of nothing he had a run down old house about has big has my 2 stall garge just one bedroom kitchen sitting room etc. small little old house with old wash tubs beside it and weeds he had a very run down old barn a old chicken coop and a hog house and a lean to type building. It was fenced in beside his barn and he had his horses out there. he had the most beatiful horses i had ever seen he had a big bucksin mare and a huge black stud that were my favorties plus all the others running along the river bottoms on his land he had a herd of cattle probably about 30 head of them he just let them run on his 80 and it was basicly like a small ranch he had junk all over though there was old car bodys laying all over like model As and Ts and old wagons and junk every were he was always out in his little garden tending to his crops that he would eat all winter along with one of his cows or hogs he would slaughter. there was also coon skins tacked all over the walls on the barns and shed he coon hunted the river bottom all the time in the fall and winter he had two old blue ticks named tom and lucy probably the two best coon hound i had ever seen. some times he would sell some of his cattle or hogs and i would help him haul them man it was a bumpy ride in his old truck it was a old 30s ford that had seen better days but he drove it along with no care in the world. of course i grew up and went off to college and moved away but i would still come back home for christmas and stuff and i would vist the old man in the river bottoms. then one night i got the call that he died. my wife then newly weds thought i was nuts to go back home for the old mans funeral but i had to. it wasnt a large funeral at all he had hardly any family. not to long after that i had a call one day to tell me there was some things that the old man had wanted me to have. it brought tears to my eyes when i got the old gold pocket watch he always checked time with i was also told he wanted me to have his gun. i figured it to be his old 22. rifle or 12 gauge he always hunted with but the gun i got was one i didnt know he even had it was a gun belt with a Colt 45 handgun i was told by his sister it was given to the old man by a cow puncher many years ago that taught him everything he had knew i had a erie feeling has i took the old gun wondering how many cattle drives it had been on and for that matter even gun fights. soon after my parnets sold the place back home and i had no reason to go back but my wife and i and my two boys took a vaction a while back and i went down to the bottoms to see what was left. all i found was the windmill a pile of rotted lumber from the barn and the lean to bulding was still standing. im not sure who owns it now. but some of the place is still there most of his old junk is all gone but i really didnt looked much through the trees i noticed the fence him and i put up was still standing. not to bad for being there for 35 damn near 40 years now. but i will always remember that man that taught me so much. and i thought maybe you would all like to hear about him

Milk Maid    Posted 02-26-2002 at 02:55:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Joe, this story is really touching. And you were blessed by knowing this old man. You are so wealthy from knowing him in your heart and memories. And sharing your time with him was wonderful for both of you. Returning to attend his funeral was a very honorable thing to do. I wish there were a lot more people out there like you. I know there are a lot of people like you, we just don't get the chance to run across them very often. God Bless you and yours.

Hogman    Posted 10-12-2001 at 20:07:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
My Grandpa was a hard headed old Scotsman that tought Me many things without ever lettin on that He was. I recall one time when We was going to hang a wooden gate a long ways from the barn. When We got there Grampa lowed as how He'd forgot tha brace and bit. H e gathered up some dead tree limbs ,took out a match,never occured to Me that a man as never smoked would be toten a match.
Next thing He came up with a iron rod that just happened ta be tha right size,lit tha fire,heated tha iron and made tha holes.Never let on that it was a lesson in common sense make do.

Too, I can remember the realy old fellers sittin round talkin about tha "civil"war. I now kick my butt and have for many years for not paying attention.
Poor dumb kids that We be,if it happened befor We hatched We pay no heed. What a pity. Some had fought in the battle of Wilson creek. I do remember They'd say tha creek ran blood red for several days till all tha dead were hauled out.

Last week I plowed,raked,dragged and sowed and last Sunday I found a realy nice small spear point layin on top of tha ground. Now thats a tie to the past.

Bama Red    Posted 10-10-2001 at 08:44:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Joe, that's one o' the nicest things I have read in a long time. Thanks for sharing it with us.

IHank    Posted 10-10-2001 at 03:36:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Joe and All- Iowa State University Press put out "Memories of a Former Kid", a collection of cartoons by Bob Artley. They are several big paperback type books. Bob worked for newspapers here in Iowa and Minnesota over the years. His 'toons are about rural life in the twenties, thirties, and forties.

They are a real good read. IHank

IHank    Posted 10-10-2001 at 03:48:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]

All- This link gives a sample of Bob Artley's work. IHank

Franz    Posted 10-09-2001 at 23:17:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You were fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn history, first hand, from someone who lived it.
I didn't have the chance as a kid, but in the 70s, I made the time to talk to some of the old timers around here, and learned a lot about such things as cutting ice from ponds in winter and storing it till August, drying apples, cabbage storage, and a whole lot of the local history. As old Dad Time took the oldtimers, I came to regrett that I hadn't the equipment to tape some of the conversations. A couple years back, I managed to set up a meeting with the last of the ice cutters, and was all set to video the deal. Unfortunately, he too passed, just before we did the tapeing. His heirs, typical yuppies, flocked to see what he had left behind that they could sell at auction, and how much they could split up. These people had never bothered to talk to that old man about how he had farmed in 1910, and didn't know an ice plow from an ice saw. Thru the auction I listened to them yacking about how much that dam fool paid for that hunk of junk, and wonder if they should have hung on to it.
Pass the lessons and history on to your kids, and give them an appreciation for what the people who built this country did to build it.

Les    Posted 10-10-2001 at 02:50:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Franz: the place where I call square dances in the summer still cuts ice out of the lake in January. The cabins that the folks come and stay in have functional ice boxes, not refrigerators. My uncle used to be the ice man around here. We traded milk for ice when I was a kid, before we had our first refrigerator which was in 1955.

Franz    Posted 10-10-2001 at 09:31:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dang, I think I'm gettin to Old Faht status. I can still remember the ice box, when I was a kid, and the Ice Man who delivered ice 3 days a week. He also was the "bottle gas" man, delivered that when he wasn't delivering ice.
Do they still use plows and hand saws where you are?

Les    Posted 10-10-2001 at 11:36:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nope. It's done with power equipment. I'll send you a link the their website. It shows only one picture of cutting ice, unfortunately. In the old days they used horses to run the ropes and pulleys to load the ice into a sled for transport to the ice houses whereas now it's done with 4wd trucks.

magpie    Posted 10-09-2001 at 19:58:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep darn right we wanted to hear about him! Thanks for sharing your memory.

Les...fortunate    Posted 10-09-2001 at 17:24:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Nice story, Joe. Thanks for the post. You, too, are fortunate.

Burrhead    Posted 10-09-2001 at 18:33:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
That is a good story. It hits awful close to home for me too.

Thanks for sharing that with us it brought back many fond memories for me and I always feel better after a memory jog when it's a happy trail trip.

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