Monday, May 26, 2008

Delta Gumbo Ramblings

Bean Field ramblings
I grew up along the Mississippi River just outside Ursa Illinois.our family had farmed for three generations that I was aware of and continues upon the tradition.I started working out in the field running a tractor(A John Deere Model A)When I was six years old . My dad had to slide a pipe down the clutch handle to give me leverage enough to engage and disengage it.The running of machinery came second nature to me and I enjoyed the command of power however one job that I did not care for and had little to do with any mechanization,was weeding soybeans.
Around middle june into the heat of August my Dad would roust me up with A (up and Ad am my Merrie lads rise and shine) For one thing I felt anything but Merrie at 5:30 in the morning;For another the term lads always gave me visions of frenchies in tights and was anything but what a farm boy was interested in. We would set off before light down into the bottoms( The Mississippi river bottoms was called simply the bottoms)My dad had taken some old broom handles and bolted a blade from a sycle on the end and these served as the best weed cutters you could find ;Alot lighter than a hoe and alot sharper.Well the early morning dew as well as any moisture from rains totally eliminated shoes as the gumbo would cake on your bare feet forget about shoes.Our rows were about one half mile long so weeding four rows would take you to the end and back for lunch then end and back go home do the chores (feed the animals) eat supper go to bed so you could do it again in the morning.
My Dad would tell me stories of his flying p51 mustangs in Europe during ww11 The only time he spoke of those The job I dreaded the most the hardest hottest and most tiring,Ended up being my sweetest memories

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