Downsizing continues |

Downsizing continues

I’m the official “eggs cook” at our weekly Old Boars’ Breakfast. This morning I got up in full darkness a little before 6 a.m., downed my morning ration of pharmaceuticals with a short glass of medicinal red wine, and then drove to the old Toledo Township High School — which is really the official Toledo Township Community Building — and arrived just as dawn was cracking. It wuz still dark.

It wuz at that very moment that I realized the upcoming Sunday in March we all have to “spring forward” one hour to actuate daylight savings time. Then I realized that next Wednesday morning I would arrive for the breakfast in complete darkness and would have to get up at the equivalent time of 5 a.m. That’s too danged early to get up and cook breakfast.

This morning we fed and gabbed with 19 old geezers at our little breakfast. Few of us can hear worth a darn, so the conversation decibel level is about like a jet engine. At $5 per head suggested breakfast price, we raised about $100 total, and netted, after food costs, $72 — which will be deposited into our unofficial charitable “Saffordville Gentle Men’s Club” bank checking account — which we use for both upkeep and improvements to the old school or to donate to folks in our community who need a helping hand on occasion.

We recollected this morning that we’re into our seventh year of weekly breakfast, a string broken only by Covid for a few weeks, the occasional flood or snow/ice storm, or some other conflicting social event at the building.

Before closing with this “breakfast entree,” I’ll mention that this morning’s breakfast included my big skillet of four-dozen scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and leftover chunks of link sausages, topped with cheddar cheese; pork sausage patties, hashbrown potatoes, biscuits and sausage gravy, and three kinds of fresh fruit — pineapple, red grapes, and bananas. Plus, a never-ending pot of hot coffee.


I keep mentioning that ol’ Nevah and I are downsizing. So, I’ve started sorting through the boxes of “stuff” I’ve written or accumulated during a long career as an aggie writer. I’ve accumulated this pile of “stuff” by working based in Kansas (three times), Oklahoma, Washington state, and Iowa since I started with my first writing job in 1964.

In addition to writing this hopefully humorous column weekly for more than 48 years, I’ve written about the American Agriculture Movement, the National Farmers Organization, and about the people and economics of farming and rural America.

I’ve got boxes and file drawers filled with “stuff” that I’ve started to sort through. That includes columns, radio commentaries, stories, business plans, humorous and serious speeches, letters, news clippings and a plethora of booklets, reports and publications.

I’m keeping some for family history. But, luckily, most of my “stuff” is destined to get archived at the library of a land-grant university. The archivists at the library recently graciously approached me about donating the rest of my “stuff” to its archival project to document the people, events and materials associated with the American Agriculture Movement, which formed during the national farm crisis of the mid-1980s.

That out-of-the-blue request dovetailed nicely with the predicament I faced of what to do with the mountain of my career “stuff.”

So, right now my basement looks like a paper explosion took place there. But, hopefully, and the good-Lord willing, all of it will be in a new library home sometime in the not-to-distant future. I’ll keep you posted


Okay, time to quit the serious stuff and get into something funny.

A young farm mother had a rambunctious 5-year-old who still sucked his thumb. She tried every trick in the book to get her son to quit.

Finally, she told him if he didn’t quit sucking his thumb, he would keep sucking in air and get fatter and blow up like a balloon and float away.

Her son took that story to heart and stopped his nasty habit immediately.

Some weeks later in the grocery store, the mom met her best friend neighbor who was very pregnant. They were standing at the checkout counter and the neighbor noticed the little boy staring at her intently. The neighbor lady smiled and asked, “What are you looking at?”

The kid predictably replied, “Your belly. And, I know what you’ve been doing.”


One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, at a quiet rural church, the parishioners arrive for church services early, and before the service starts, the locals sit in their pews and talk about their lives, their families, etc.

One Sunday, suddenly, at the altar, Satan appears — horns, red cape and all. Everyone starts screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in their determined efforts to get away from Evil Incarnate.

Soon, everyone is evacuated from the church except for one old grizzled farmer, who sits calmly in his pew, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy is in his presence. This confuses Satan a bit. So, he walks up to the man and hisses, “Hey, don’t you know who I am?”

The old farmer nonchalantly replies, “Yep, sure do.”

Satan says, “Well, aren’t you afraid of me?”

The farmer says, “Nope, sure ain’t.”

Satan, perturbed, asks, “And why aren’t you afraid of me?”

The farmer retorts, “Well, I’ve been married to your sister for 25 years. You’re my brother-in-law.“


Words of wisdom for the week from Jay Esse in Colorado: “We shouldn’t get mad at lazy people. They didn’t do anything.” Have a good ‘un.


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