Sunday, July 26, 2015

running stafford fits

Anybody who has known my daddy will tell you that if you haven't seen one of those outbursts, you should be VERY afraid.  That hair trigger temper and a dose of smartass little man syndrome give you a good old southern ag man who works hard and rarely plays except for bowling and poker with the guys.  Penny ante, no less.  They played in the old Vaughn's record store downtown which is where I spent all my Xmas club money one year on 45s.  Yes, I'm that old.   My father loves this country and we have had plenty of conversations about me being a liberal and not wanting to salute a local Vietnam war vet who was his friend. His service time was done during the Korean conflict and there was assignment in the Azores close to Portugal.  I still have the basic language book from that trip along with a conch he brought back from Miami when he was sent to meet the boat people from Cuba.  That was about retirement time.

There have never been a lack of opportunity for improvement on this farm.  My father and brother have molded it into what it is which is a little slice of heaven with some somewhat toxic farming practices.  Slowly but surely we are living out our past and preparing for something different, each of us in our own way.  That we have been allowed this many years as guests on such a beautiful place is indeed grace.  I am growing yellow squash and 'maters in my father's honor this year, all straw bail-i-fied.

Mama is scared but then we all are.  Our future as a family here is dependent on the generosity of those who receive the legacy of the farm and keep it alive.  An entire chapter in history has been played out on this patch of land and I know every player along the way.  One of the strangest things is that Noler's grandaddy got shot at a bar across the road called Cottons.  It fronted as a grocery store but river access gave them a great way to smuggle booze.  It was hidden from the road by cotton and other crops and most likely a bunch more trees than are there now.  Where the Quinns lived.  Old Mr. Roy was all the way past our log cabin and halfway to the slough. Martin Ware the horse whisperer lived in a freaking schoolbus at the end of Pecan Lane with mules.  You can't make this shit up.  The Johnson family has been here the entire time with us, spanning several generations.  I need to go give Mozella her B12 shot when I'm not doing what I do.  Daddy was resting when I left looking peaceful and all and I was tired so there you go.  Once again let me say that knowing who has your back is always something to be counted as a blessing.


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