Heraclitus said, “Nothing endures but change.”
We were part of the change from agrarian to urban, but we didn’t know it.
My dad’s grandfather never cared much for material things. Oh, he loved the land and trees and would walk miles to go look at a horse. He always said that hogs were a corn grinder and made more selling than corn that would always be $2 a bushel.
We always said he didn’t know the day, but he got a cigar out of that box every Sunday morning. He always had early morning farmer Ted Mangner on the radio. Ted would say things such as, “I’m going to the house,” “I’m having chicken livers and gravy for breakfast,” or “I’ve got a grapefruit soaking in honey.” A faint voice said, “It’s raining in Vishy, Mo., or on Turkey Hill.”
He saw the two-row planter, the riding cultivator; he planted whip-poor-will cowpea hay and plowed under clover. Farmers went to Korean lespedeza, alfalfa. Some quit cows, went to money crops like soybeans. He kept horses and cows because he liked them. Never planted soybeans.
Closer up he had blue damson, green gage, scallies, apples, cherry, pecan, peach and the red haw the birds dearly loved.
Those 40-80-acre homesteads are gone now in a changing land, absorbed by farmers, highways, railroads, businesses, housing and a way of life with it.
Joe Fontana, Roxana