Farming for a Living

There’s no such thing as a slow news day in a small town.  Not when you have long-term residents willing to tell you their story and dig up a couple of old photos to go with it.

This “news” article was published in the People section of the Port Elgin Beacon Times on July 28, 1999 when my dad was 85.  There are a few mistakes in it, the funniest one being where they say our youngest sister is “Barbara” which isn’t even close to her real name.  That’s okay, she likes to remain anonymous.

Dad was the 8th of 10 children, not 9, but his youngest brother died in a bicycle accident when he was just a boy.  Maybe dad chose to skip over that part.

Hope you enjoy this little slice of history.
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I lived here until I was 5 or 6 so my memories of it are vague. There was a hand pump in the kitchen for water, and we had baths in a big wash tub on the kitchen floor. The next farm-house we lived in had hot and cold running water and a bath tub upstairs. Now if people have fewer than four bathrooms in a house they are likely to complain. How times change.

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22 thoughts on “Farming for a Living

  1. Great pictures – wonderful story. We have a hand-written and illustrated book my uncle made about my great-grandparents (Nana and Pappoo-go figure, Southern grandparent names are nutty) and their farm. It’s fascinating. I was there a couple of times when I was very small – I wish I remembered more.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading about your father’s life…my how times have changed. He was a hard worker, and sounds like he had a great sense of humor. And I adore the look on his face, much like the smirk my father often wore. My oldest son looks so much like my dad, including the smirk!

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  3. And do you notice that the older we get the more interested we are in these types of things. Twenty years ago I likely wouldn’t have even read a post like this…
    Mortality seems to be staring us in the face.

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    • It’s kind of alarming how the years are speeding by! We just broke a spring or something on our dishwasher door and looked up the paperwork on it to discover we have had it for EIGHTEEN years!! No wonder the damned thing doesn’t work. Anyway, yes, I never was interested in all the old stuff until I became an old thing myself. I guess 20 years ago we just didn’t have time to look back.

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    • Thanks Lillian, I’m happy you enjoyed it. When my parents were in a home (lucky enough to share a room together) high school kids came in pairs to interview some of the residents for some kind of research project. I don’t have the booklet they put together (my sister has it) but that’s a real keepsake too. I think they were always surprised whenever someone was interested in their lives.

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  4. I really like old fashioned settings and stories. When they are real and ones told by a friend, artist and fellow blogger their life is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂
    I like small town papers who feature long time residents. Your father accomplished quite a bit and his eldest sister becoming like a mother to him was a sad, but sincerely an important part of his childhood.
    My maiden name is Oldrieve. When you said your father, Hank was a Reeve. It made me wish to share that my family is half Scottish and half English. The name comes from the “old farm manager” or “old reeve.” Smiles, Robin

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