Chapter 58

Short Short Stories About Farmers

  1. Bob Mendez owned Mt. Clare Valley Farm, about a mile and a half out of Mt. Clare toward Lost Creek. He drove a little white Mazda pickup and usually had a German Shepherd named “Lawyer” in the back. One day a state policeman stopped Bob and went up to the truck and put his hand on the fender. Lawyer promptly jumped out of the back of the truck and seized the policeman by the arm. The policeman told Bob he had better call the dog off. Bob replied the dog thought the truck belonged to him (the dog) and he (the policeman) would best slowly remove his hand from the truck. The policeman promptly complied and the dog let him go.

    Lawyer earned his name in an interesting way. Monongahela Power had to replace a pole in a power line across Bob’s property. The crew responsible for putting the pole in brought the usual big truck with trailer, which had difficulty getting up the hill. They went off the right-of-way, which was not adequately maintained, and were stuck when Bob and the dog got there. Bob told them that they had to get back on the right of way, which the truck could not traverse. There were five of them and they moved around him in a threatening way. They said, “We are going where we want; you’d better get your lawyer.” Bob pointed to the dog and said, “He’s here right now.” The German Shepherd sensed danger and growled. In the end the five men carried the electric pole uphill and set it by hand.

  2. Paul “Mule” Vincent owned a little farm on the Shinnston road, near the Saltwell exit off I-79. He taught at Bridgeport High School when I was there, farmed, and did a lot of trading. One day, some years before, he had bought a mule at the sale. When he got home, he tried to lead it off the truck but the mule balked on his new owner. Mr. Vincent worked and worked, with no success. Finally he tied the mule to the barn with a long leash and slowly drove the truck out from under him. This is the way he got the name, which he bore with pride.

    Mr. Vincent had two fine daughters, who took my chemistry class at Bridgeport High School. The oldest one was very quiet and shy, someone who averted her gaze when I looked in her direction, but she was a good student. The younger one was straight forward, quiet and quick to learn. Once I made her angry, not by intent, and saw a fire in her eye that told me she was her father’s daughter.

  3. Bill Keester owned a lovely farm that was bisected by the Saltwell exit off I-79. He was a very intelligent man, very creative, who always wore fine Pendleton wool shirts for a jacket, but was not wealthy. His wife, whose name I do not remember, worked right alongside him on the farm. One lived in a trailer, the other in the house. He had a son who was an outstanding engineer. Bill’s house was paneled inside with white oak he had cut on the farm, carrying a few logs at a time to the mill, and then carrying the lumber to a planer to make panels. Unfortunately, it was partly on the right-of-way the State wanted for I-79.

    When the surveyors came through, the right of way was huge. Bill had them mark exactly where the right-of-way came on the house. The carport was completely within the “take” area, but only a four foot corner of the house proper stuck across the line. He thought about it for some time. The workmen took down the carport and took it away. That night he cut a five-foot corner off the house with his chain saw. The State Road people let him keep the house, and he filled in the corner with clapboard, so it looked like the rest of the house, except that the house now had five corners, instead of four like most houses.

    The State of West Virginia was taking all the land under the highway. Mr. Keester's son found out that the Interstate system could only take to a depth of 400 feet. They were able to retain the land under the highway. This might prove valuable to a company extracting coal or some other solid mineral, because they could go under the highway below 400 feet at this point by owning or leasing Mr. Keester’s land.

  4. When I knew him, Frank Lewis had a little farm above Rockford. He lived with his wife, who was a nurse, in a fine, large house in Clarksburg. When he was young (in the1930’s and 40’s) he drove cattle trucks to the market at Pittsburgh and at Baltimore. He told stories about a mean policeman in Uniontown who took particular pleasure in harassing trucks with West Virginia license plates.

    Once he drove a cattle truck that had a bed that extended too far to the rear of the back wheels. Going up one particularly steep mountain in Maryland, the cattle shifted to the rear, and the front end went up, and didn’t come back down! He and his helper jumped out, let a few head out the rear, until the front went down again. Then they rounded up the cattle, and loaded them back on the truck with the help of a friendly local farmer, and went merrily on their way. The traffic must have been a lot less then, and people more familiar with cattle! On another occasion Frank had a truck hijacked.

  5. Paige Lockard’s wife inherited a farm at Jarvisville. He was city manager at Clarksburg and at Grafton, and later worked in the City Government of Washington. They came back to the farm when he retired. He was quite intelligent and knew a lot about many things, including history and genealogy. He had a son who made fabulous money working on the North Slope Oil Field in Alaska. The son would work a month in the high Arctic and would then live a month with his family in Anchorage. In time he got very tired of this. Paige talked him into coming to West Virginia to farm. The farm was all grown up, very steep. Paige had the idea that you could farm (this was in the 80s) with horses. They bought a team, the son had a good time with his Dad for one winter, with no income and no prospect of any income. He went back to the North Slope the next spring.

  6. John Reed was the manager for the Compton Farm at Bridgeport. Compton Farm kept buffalo and had excess hay. I hauled many bales home from Bridgeport on the F-350 farm truck. John had a lot of great stories about the buffalo. They were so large, so strong and so easily excited. He told me the fences were stronger the closer you go to the central shed where they “worked” them, that is, gave them shots, medicine and fixed injuries. The buffalo were confined in a chute to do this work, of course.

    Compton had standing orders for employees never to get out of their trucks – even if the truck was turned over by the buffalo. One got through the fence one time, went across the interstate and went all the way to Kincheloe, perhaps ten miles, before they could get close enough to do anything. They had to shoot it, since there was no pen strong enough to corral it in the entire Kincheloe community. John said the dose of medicine for the buffalo was usually less than for cattle, even though they were larger and tougher physically. When Young and Stout, a firm that did custom butchering, got ready to take Compton’s buffalo, they rebuilt the chute and pens they used to hold the animals of stout three inch oak lumber all the way up to the ceiling of their sheds.

  7. Leland Bond was the third of O. B. and Lucille Bond’s four sons. He helped in the hay on our place when he was a teenager, back in the days when hay was shocked, loaded on wagons, and hauled into the barn. One hot summer day he was up on the wagon, receiving forkfuls of hay from the older men pitching it up, building the load so it would not fall off. Some of the older men got to kidding him, and told him that if the load pulled apart and some came off, it was the responsibility of the man loading to put it back on – all by himself. Leland was a high school football player, and a little cocky, so he called, “more hay.” They almost covered him up. Sure enough, just as the load got to the barn, a big chunk fell out of the side. Leland insisted on reloading the hay all by himself. All the hard work the men did in those days was an athletic contest.

  8. G. Manley Currey’s farm now lies buried beneath the interstate, on the head of what the topo maps call Bond’s Run, which points south from Lost Creek. It was across from the old B&O trestle between Lost Creek and McWhorter. There are few of us left who remember it. It was the ultimate hard-scrabble farm.

    Manly was a member of the group that owned the ensilage cutter mentioned above, along with Dad, Granddad Kennedy, Uncle Urso Davis, who was Hugh Davis’ father, and Uncle Erlo Davis. Manley’s corn fields were so steep they had to load the wagons lightly to bring them in to the barn, a full load would push the horses down the steep hill. They had to bring the corn off the hill on the other side of the valley, under the trestle, and across the road to the barn. The hill was a killer – rough, steep and crooked. This made filling his silo a slow process.

    There were always free ranging chickens around the small barn, but the house was very nice and well kept by his wife. Manley was something of a politician by nature and very big in the Soil Conservation movement promoted by the New Deal government.

  9. Uncle Erlo Davis, who married my grandfather’s sister Antha, sometimes hired an older single man from Homeland to work on the farm, who was, well, a little slow. This man had begun to pay some attention to a spinster in the community. One day at the noon meal one of the other workers asked him if he had “gone soft” on her. His reply was, “No. I’m like Jesus Christ, I love ‘em all.” As you can imagine this story got a lot of mileage!

  10. By the time my father was 9, he had fallen in love with horses, a passion which remained with him the rest of his life. Grandfather had a very dependable old mare. One day he wanted a small wagon load of things brought from upper Hackers Creek to Lost Creek, but he had to be in Lost Creek early. At the beginning of the day Grandfather started the horse and wagon with nine-year old Dad, who was very eager to drive and went on ahead on his riding horse to Lost Creek. His instructions were, “Whatever you do, don’t get down off the seat.”

    In those days the closest road was to go across from Rovers Run to Jesse Run, over what is now Dr. Ray Herron’s land, then down Jesse Run to what is now Bill’s Lick, up the hill and across to Rockford, then down to Lost Creek. In late afternoon Grandfather realized Dad should have arrived, so he started back. He found boy, horse and wagon at a watering trough on the top of the hill between Jesse Run and Rockford. Dad had let the reigns slip out of his hand, but true to orders, did not get down to pick them up. A wise choice, because if the horse had started to move, there might have been a disaster.

  11. At one point in the 70s and 80s having a "veal barn" seemed the way to prosperity. It was done like this: several hundred Holstein (milk breed) calves would be kept confined in crates and fed a diet consisting mainly of dried milk. The feed was reconstituted with iron free-water, which kept the calf meat white, characteristic of veal. (The red color of the mature mammal is due to iron introduced in the diet.) The calves are grown out to several hundred pounds while the traditional veal calves are butchered at three days at one hundred pounds or so.

    The farmer provided building and equipment, around the clock labor and expertise in handling the calves, and disposal for the manure and calves that did not live until harvest. The company he worked with provided the calves, the feed, and the market. The market varied considerably, and the farmer had no control over what he received nor did he have any alternate way to sell them.

    It was a very unwholesome situation for the calves, and there was a lot of sickness. You could smell the veal barn for a mile, so locating them up a hollow someplace was a good idea, and West Virginia was a good place to start such a business. The criteria for a good veal barn manager was to have someone who could stand the smell and recognize the sick calves soon enough to get the necessary antibiotics into them so they would survive.

    The worst case I heard of was Bob Soloman, who had a veal barn on one of the branches of Sycamore Creek. He was a retired Army man, and he and his wife wanted a rural life. When the end of the veal barn business came for them, they called the company who had put out the calves, and their credit agency, and just moved off the small farm where they had planned to live the rest of their lives, never to be heard of again. They simply walked off and left it.

  12. Bob Lowther was our neighbor at the Lost Creek farm for many years. He and his wife Lena worked very hard at their dairy in their younger years and got along fairly well financially. They raised a big family. Bob was very tight with money, however. In those days we used a square bailer, and picked the bales up off the ground, piled them on a four wheel wagon, and sent them up a conveyor into the barn. Bob never kept a spare wheel and tire for his wagon. When there was a flat tire, it had to be taken to a filling station to be repaired, which cost an hour and half, even if the rain was coming.

    Bob put an aluminum roof on his barn and saved a few dollars by using iron nails, contrary to instructions. Although still a kid, I already had had enough chemistry to know what would happen. I had also observed what happened to several sheets of aluminum stored in our milk house, which became a storage place after it was no longer needed for bottling milk. There was a leak in the rusty iron roof which allowed an occasional drop of rust saturated rainwater fall on the aluminum. It drilled a hole through the aluminum and left white corrosion all around the hole, just like acid would. Bob’s roof lasted about three years, instead of twenty. Bob said aluminum was no good.

    Aunt Lotta paid forty dollars, which seemed a ridiculous price, for an aluminum gate in the fence behind her house, where it continued in use for forty years. It is still in service in another location, sixty years after it was purchased.

    Bob built a pond that he was very proud of on the little stream that flowed out of the hollow around the hill. When the coal was stripped the pond became a sedimentation basin for the strip job and filled up.

    Strippers weren’t required to build ponds in those days, unfortunately. Bob was always mad at Dad, rather than the stripper. Again people didn’t know to sue about such things in those days.

    Eventually, Bob and Lena put in a trailer court with forty three places for “mobile homes.” Bob had a good personality, being friendly, and helpful, but firm, and they did quite well with it.

  13. C. H. Woodford was another neighbor at Lost Creek. He was the only farmer I ever knew that washed and waxed his tractors. He had a Ferguson for many years, and it always looked new. He bought a Hesston shortly before he died and it stood idle for many years before his children began to use it. C. H. and Connie owned the good bottom that was destroyed by the tipple mentioned above.

    C. H. was a large man, a school principal, and a compulsive talker. You could “hardly get a word in edgewise.” Most of it was remarkably interesting, though. He had come down from the mountains and often talked about his youth.

  14. Thomas J. Mick was a tenant on the Stout farm back over the hill from the Lost Creek farm. They lived in a huge house that had been quite grand at one time, but was in a sore state of disrepair by the time the Mick family lived there. Mr. Mick “had the map of Ireland on his face,” as my grandmother would have said. He and his wife had come to Harrison County from Gilmer County.

    The place had earlier belonged to “Uncle Ed” Stout, who was a very colorful figure. He was Grandmother Kennedy’s brother, a very able man. He made his very good living by running numbers out of the old Strand Pool Hall that was across the street from the Waldo Hotel in Clarksburg. He owned the farm that Mr. Mick lived on, which now belongs to John Stenger, and the farm at the head of Little Stonepot that belongs to Bob Mendez’ heirs. My father said Uncle Ed could go into a pen of twenty head of cattle and the next day could recall the individual animals and talk about them. That quality of memory helped him in the numbers racket too, of course.

    By the time of T. J.’s tenure, Uncle Ed had died, and John Stout, his son. was running the place for the family. The relation between the tenant and the owner had deteriorated to the classic tenant-landlord relationship: squeeze the tenant and the tenant finds ways to make a little on the side. Mr. and Mrs. Mick had a son and a daughter a little older than I and lived very frugally. When the place was sold to Louie Stenger, John’s uncle, Mr. Mick had enough set by to buy (no doubt with considerable borrowing) to buy a nice small farm with a decent house out of Lost Creek toward Rockford. I have often wondered what became of his son and daughter, how they made out in the world.

    I can still see the old house on the Stout farm, which burned down shortly after Louie Stenger bought the place. It had a large area in the back that was paved with huge stones, some of it under roof, open with the second story projecting out over it. The dug well was in this area, and it was used for a work area for household chores like washing. The wood was bare and weathered dark grey, and it had a slate roof. Inside there were only bare light bulbs, and it was quite dark by modern standards. It would have made a great set for a scary movie.

  15. One of the Gore heirs in my father’s generation was one of us, that is, the farming fraternity. Now I’m not talking about one of those silly organizations you see at some colleges which are designed to turn a fellow’s spare cash into social status and sexual gratification. I’m talking about a brotherhood of those who like the outdoors, handling animals, and working the soil. One of the most remarkable things about this brotherhood is the great diversity of types one may find in it, foolish and wise, ignorant and educated, poor and wealthy.

    Mr. Gore was wealthy and well known in Clarksburg. One day dressed in his farm clothes, he went into the Buick dealership to buy a car. He went into the office, where no one paid any attention to him for several minutes. Finally, he interrupted someone and asked to use the phone. Then he loudly ordered a new Lincoln, over the phone, from the Buick dealership.

  16. We have multiple land use. Although I own the land and pay the taxes from my farming enterprise, many other people have an interest in my land. The most avid group that has an interest in my farm is the hunters, without a doubt. I can’t shoot straight (failed the rifle qualification in Army Basic Training), and haven’t the patience for hunting. This is a story told by Francis “Dick” Rogers who has hunted for years on this farm (Jesse Run).

    Dick was about as much a professional hunter as anyone could be in this day and age. He observed the year around, talked hunting all the time, and read a great deal about it. One day in the fall, he told me, he was up on the strip job (this was about the year 2000), “scouting out” the deer before the season started. He was near the pond, which lies in a low gap pointing north, about three miles south of Lost Creek. The fire siren at Lost Creek started to sound, and coyotes began to howl all around him in response to it.

    Their howl is eerie, and they are solitary most of the time. Dick was being stalked by them, and though he is about as well trained to the woods as anyone could be, he had no idea the animals were near. “It made my hair stand up,” he told me.

    Coyotes are not native to West Virginia and were previously associated with the West. They have followed the deer when they returned after being exterminated prior to 1900. They take a few calves, several lambs, and are a terror to cats, which are a special delicacy to them.

  17. Wesley Dawson and his father, George, farmed land belonging to Guy and Audra Lewis, who had been associated with the Harrison County Bank. Later they bought some of the land. George also owned the place where the Lost Creek – West Milford road crosses under the interstate. Wesley owns the Azelvander place half a mile toward West Milford.

    They bought a Bailey Bridge (used military surplus) at a West Virginia Department of Highways sale. The characteristic of the Bailey Bridge is that it comes in sections which can be quickly be set up or taken down and moved using manpower alone. They put a few sections across Lost Creek in their bottom adjacent to the Interstate.

    A fellow called from New York, someone with a heavy New York accent. Wesley thinks he was an arms dealer, because he talked about sending it to Bangladesh where there was a war on. It turns out that the bridge was a rare and valuable item and he wanted it badly. He tried to force the issue, being ignorant of the old adage “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” The Dawsons turned him down, even though they had a great deal more bridge than they needed, and the offer was high. Years later trees are now growing up through the unused sections.

  18. Worthy Hall has hauled cattle for me almost every year since I began to farm. I literally have built my loading chutes to fit his trucks. He also drove a school bus much of that time. No remarks, dear reader, about hauling cattle in a truck part of the day and kids in a bus morning and evening!! Tsk, Tsk!! On the bus you have to maintain discipline! That makes it much harder work.

    Worthy is very slow and deliberate, very dependable, and consummately safe. His trucks are kept for a long time, and when he gets a new one, he gets a used one. He’s a good mechanic and maintains them well. There is considerable demand for good, dependable transportation for animals. Farmers want to send them to the sale, and sale owners want animals picked up or delivered, and the professional buyers sometimes have local truckers move cattle where they want them, instead of using their company trucks.

    Worthy is also very civic minded. He belongs to the Lions, the Lost Creek Volunteer Fire Department, the Methodist Church at Lost Creek, and does volunteer work with each of them. Everybody knows his truck, and when you ride with him, the driver of every second or third vehicle waves to him.

  19. Most of the people discussed in this section got there from being outstanding in some way. The next individual got here because of a unique life style, one others could imitate, but none ever have. He was not a farmer, but was well known to them.

    For many years prior to, during and after WWII a man referred to as “the bottle boy” walked the roads of Harrison County, picking up bottles for a living. I may have heard his name, but don’t remember it. West Virginians I love, but all too many of them have the detestable habit of throwing their trash out the window of a moving vehicle. At the time, glass bottles were in vogue, not plastic, and they could be recycled and so had a deposit.

    The Bottle Boy made what was, doubtless, a pretty miserable living from pushing a wheelbarrow along the road, picking bottles up and collecting the deposit. In winter he wore a heavy coat, seldom a hat. He was pretty ragged, but people didn’t fear him because he was also quite shy, and all recognized that he was performing a valuable civic service.

    It was told that when the labor shortage in WWII came, a contractor offered him a “good job.” But he told the contractor he already had a good job, and he was content with it. After the war, we would sometimes see him with a small boy walking along side, or riding in the wheelbarrow. The man was a monument to endurance and persistence, or inaptitude and folly, according to the way you see it. In either case, he was a conspicuous actor on our part of the stage of life.

  20. John Kolb was my neighbor for many years. He was a man of mature years when we got the farm on Jesse Run. The story goes he became an orphan in Texas and was sent back to relatives in West Virginia. There were several unmarried aunts and uncles and he inherited several tracts of land from them, becoming a substantial landowner. He courted and married Louise, who helped in one of the households.

    Nearly half of the fence around our place was shared with him. He always wanted to go out and repair the old fence, and when I went with him we talked and talked, and got little done, but the stories were great. He knew everybody and everything going on for miles around. I think this had been the procedure with Carroll Bond years before when Carroll ran the farm. Carroll was very thrifty , too, at least toward the end, which justifies this kind of fence building. I hated setting one post at a time and filling in between rusty wires when you would have to go through the same maneuvers again next year.

    It wasn’t long until I became attracted to high tensile electric fence. I understood how to build it from the first (unlike many). The trick is to give up thinking of the wires as physical barriers and let the electricity and training it gives cattle do the work. I set posts 50 to 75 feet apart from the beginning and used only three wires. Pretty soon I was doing about all the fence building that was done in the neighborhood. On other farms people gave up, or kept patching old fences.

    John was up and down financially, was into coal trucks at one time, had a large dairy at the mouth of Jesse Run, but the family really did well when the interstate came through. It goes over a half a mile through what was once his property, and the intersection of the access road to Jane Lew and Berlin Road is on property he once owned. John handled the sale well, not accepting the appraisal. The court settlement went well. In addition, the I-79 Truck Stop, Wilderness Plantation Inn and the Motel stand on land he leased for 99 years, with a provision for payment linked to the amount of fuel sold there.

    John was a businessman with acumen, a solid citizen in the neighborhood and a good neighbor.

  21. My Dad liked to tell stories. Here are a couple of somewhat grim ones. 1) Once he was on jury duty when a case involving illicit sale of home made whisky came up. Several of the jurors would not believe one of the witnesses who claimed the whiskey was buried in bottles for some time in a pig pen which was occupied by pigs. No one would do such an unsanitary thing, they said. Father was able to convince the jury that there are people who would do such a thing. 2) There was a barber in West Milford who decided to move his family to a new location. Most people in those days moved their household goods on a farm truck, so he called Dad, who had a truck. Dad put on the cattle rack, washed it down good with a hose and went to the man’s house. When they got almost loaded, the man pointed out a box that had been used as a toilet, and asked Dad to put it on the truck. Well, it was covered with dried stuff (you know what kind of stuff) and Dad said he wouldn’t touch it. The man said his back was too weak to get it up on the truck. Dad said he would move it, but he wouldn’t touch it. It stayed in West Milford.

  22. Richard “Dick” Goff Bailey told me that his son had bought a farm, not far from mine. The son has a Master’s Degree in Engineering and is only a few hours short of a Ph. D. I repeat this part to prove I am not the only well educated guy around that likes farming. There are others, too, but I’ll not belabor the point. “Dick” was always fond of farming, and started going around on his bicycle at the age of nine to cut filth with a scythe for his neighbors. His father lived until he was ninety-eight. In his later years Dick’s father lived in Weston, but he kept a couple of milk cows as long as he could. He walked half a mile from his house to the orchard where they were kept, milked them and carried the milk home, a bucket in each hand.

  23. Tom Kennedy, a distant cousin of mine through the Kennedys, my mother’s family, owns an adjacent farm or speaks for the group that owns the farm. He is an absentee landlord of the 18 th century type. He is retired from a good job, lives in town, and seldom sees the farm. He derives no pleasure from it, nor profit. Rennie Reinhart worked a lifetime for Tom’s grandfather, George Jackson, who let him live on the farm for looking after things. When the grandfather died, Tom began to charge rent, and wouldn’t let Rennie cut the grass beyond the yard for fear he would sell it for hay. The restrictions grew, and eventually Rennie and his wife left. When Gary Arbogast wanted to connect to the electricity on Tom’s place for a new house he was building, Tom told Gary, “I don’t want to have the brush disturbed on my place.” This is the kind of thing that gave landlords a bad name.

  24. This story is about 100 years old. My Grandfather Bond liked to tell about the illiterate rural mail carrier the family once “enjoyed.” Their mail came from the now vanished Aberdeen Post Office on Hackers Creek in the 1890s. Delivery of mail was accomplished by the illiterate man, who named his pockets, so he would know who got each packet of mail. The postmaster helped him get the letters sorted into the right pockets. Grandfather said he was sure the man had a boot named “T. M. Bond,” because Grandfather’s mail was always dirty.

  25. Walter Reinhart owned a herd of fine Holstein cows. One winter it froze hard enough to allow some of the cows to walk out on a pond near his barn. Fourteen of them went through, some distance from the edge. It was a significant part of his herd. Walter faced a terrible dilemma from both the humanitarian and the financial standpoints. He got a tractor with a lift and some rope and was about ready to drive out on the ice to save them when Ike Maxwell, the veterinarian, came along. Ike was able to stop him, which saved Walter and the tractor, but the cows were lost, and the farm also.

  26. I have dealt with Southern States Feed Store and Brake’s in Clarksburg, and Southern States, Foster’s and Swisher’s in Weston. This one came from Wilbur Swisher: A colorful customer by the name of “Buckshot” Hall always referred to Wilbur’s “Beef Mix” feed as “floor sweepin’s,” in part, no doubt, because it contained corn, small grains, bran and extruded pellets of protein supplement. One day when the State Inspector was surveying the store, Buckshot came in and asked for “200 pounds of floor sweepin’s” within earshot of the inspector. Wilbur had the Beef Mix taken out to Buckshot’s vehicle and he left.

    The inspector soon sidled up to Wilbur and asked, “Wilbur, you’re not selling floor sweepings, are you?” Wilbur assured him that he was not, and the inspector knew him well enough to accept his explanation. Next time “Buckshot” came in, Wilbur told him what had happened. Buckshot replied, “Why Wilbur, if I’d known the inspector was here I’d have sent you to jail, for sure.” And laughed.

Aside In the Farm Journal a report has announced that production of beef per cow has increased 82% since 1955. This means that we would need 180 million cows, instead of 100 million and an extra half-billion acres of pasture to provide the same amount of beef if they had not been improved.

Copyright © 1998, 2006, 2008, 2011 S. Tom Bond (stombond at