I’m 62 years old. Let’s just say I’ve been around a few years. Not as many as some, but a lot more than most. I grew up in a poor dirt farmer’s family as the oldest son. We had no running water for the first ten years of my young life. No bathroom. That type of facility was an outhouse a short distance out back of the house. My dad was industrious enough to drive a shallow well down through the floor in the kitchen and then built the counter around it with a sink and hand pump and a quart jar of water to prime the pump. We had no TV until I was at least six or seven years old. It was a big old square box RCA on a swivel base. I remember the TV guy coming out every so often to replace a blown tube in it. We lived on what we grew or killed. Gardens were a necessity to have something to can and we had chickens for eggs and hogs for killin’. Deer and squirrel were a staple during hunting season, too.
My grand dad and grandmother had a cow for milk and butter. There was a horse and a mule for plowing fields. Tractors came along in the form of a Farmall Cub and later an Allis Chalmer. There was almost the purchase of a Cockshuck. Funny name I know, but it was a two row tractor and it was nixed because my dad didn’t think we needed one that big.
I remember as a five year old my grand dad taking me to the store up at the end of the road. He would let me get a Coke and a Milky Way candy bar. It cost about eleven cents, plus a penny or so for tax back then. Gas was 28 cents a gallon. Still that could be a lot to folks who depended on the sale of tobacco, wheat, corn and soybeans for income. Some seasons weren’t all that productive.
I guess what I’m getting at is this generation hasn’t been introduced to the type of needs of those days. They were “wants”. They were “needs”. We had to work for what we had and work we did. We were fiercely independent. Welfare? Why that was a dirty word in my family and neighbor’s mouths.
In a way I miss those years. In a way I don’t. I’m happy to live with the conveniences I’ve been able to obtain through the profession I have attained to. The issue now is that with the present state of this United States of America I find it may necessitate I go back to this earlier lifestyle.
I feel I may find this in the long run advantageous. I’ve wanted to reconnect to the Earth. It has its own sound in nature. It delivers its own responses that can be measured in a way only someone who stops the speed-of-light lifestyle being lived today and listens for it. I’m getting older and I’ve found the love of my life in Libby Compton, soon to be Rowe. I can’t say that my previous marriage was for naught. It made me realize the value of a loving woman who expresses it in a fashion that it make me feel undeserving sometimes. It’s almost embarrassing for me to accept her love. She’s a beautiful, young minded person inside and I don’t believe she’ll ever grow old. She keeps me young.
My concern though is for my sons who will not likely experience the real lifestyle of the way America used to be. It’s changing to a socialist nation. Government dependency is now common place and once this happens and dictatorial leadership could very well raise it’s head against the American Way of the past. I weep for a great nation that appears to be dying into the past. Once noted famous people have said our nation will not be defeated by an enemy from without, but from enemies working within. It’s happening right now.
I refuse to relent to such dastardly machinations of underhanded leadership.