One summertime I complained, “No books.” Mom said, “Thomas Jefferson was a farmer, pay attention you can learn.” Years later I learned the same guy said, “The man who reads nothing at all is smarter than one who reads only one newspaper.” Well then I would have preferred the newspaper.
We picked up my aunt in Coulterville and hence the back roads to Cravat, not that far. There was a farmer with 45 acres of strawberries, and a new patch coming he said. My lands, I never saw so many strawberries. I thought everybody planted corn. We picked our own for 10 cents a quart. Can you imagine? They even had strawberry ice cream cones. My goodness.
We got a Kelvinator freezer. You freeze what you use in one year. The pickers were seasonal too. They called themselves gypsies, because they moved a lot. From south a seasonal route to Illinois and Michigan, and I believe they said apples.
Them trailers were not Airstream, but dad noted were well kept. They seemed a friendly, laugh a lot sort of people. Mom was amused by their stories, and I was too.
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I learned a bunch that book-less summer day. The different kind of farmer, different ways to make a living. The seasonal thing, the funny stories. It was dark and I was still learning, for I had to help Mom wash, stem and quarter them strawberries and I learned Mom was a lot smarter than I was.
Joe Fontana, Roxana