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Life history memories

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have embarked on an attempt to do a video/audio of my life history — and that I’d give periodic updates. Well, folks, I’ve got around 10 hours worth of video done and I’m not even past the fifth grade of my life. So, I guess this is gonna be a lot lengthier project than I envisioned in the beginning.

But, it’s actually been kind of fun — although a bit disjointed, since I’m doing it off-the-cuff and not via an actual plan. Telling “my” story has brought back long-forgotten memories of horse-drawn farm power, school and home without electricity, wood and coal heating, and no indoor plumbing at all.

I’ve told my recollections about getting my education started with a marvelous teacher in a one-room rural school — and the games we played during recesses and noon hours.



I’ve related all the wild animal pets that I tried to raise as a kid and how rural kids made their own fun out of necessity. The risky things we did as kids riding horses, swimming without adult supervision, killing poisonous snakes.

So, I’m gonna keep on keeping on and see where recounting my life history takes me. So far, this project has taken me to happenings in my life that I’d probably never have recalled again.



And, perhaps, as I hope, my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids will learn things about my life that they never had an inkling about.

***

As many of you know, local butcher shops and meat markets have made a comeback during the pandemic. New ones have opened up, some have expanded, and the federal government seems to be making an attempt to help.

However, I just heard a local meat market story that made me grin. Here it is: A dog ran through the open door of a local meat market, grabbed a beef roast off the cutting board where the butcher, ol’ Clevan Kuttit, was working, and ran out the door chomping on the roast.

Well, it being a small rural community, the butcher recognized the dog and knew it belonged to the only attorney in town, ol’ Ike N. Skinem.

The butcher wuz pretty mad at the dog’s theft of the roast, so he called up the attorney and asked, “Hey, if your dog stole a beef roast from my shop, would you be liable for the cost of the meat?”

“Of course,” the attorney replied. “What value do you place on the roast?”

“About $20,” the butcher answered.

A few days later the butcher received a check in the mail for $20. But also in the envelope wuz an invoice that read, “Legal consultation service rendered — $150.”

***

That story reminded me of this old joke I heard long ago. Old farmer Smith, on his death bed, attempted to formulate a plan that would allow him to take at least some of his considerable wealth with him. So, he called for the three men he trusted most — his lawyer, his doctor and his clergyman.

He told them, “I’m going to give you each $30,000 in cash before I die. At my funeral, I want you to place the money in my coffin so that I can take it with me.”

All three agreed to do this and were given the money. At Smith’s funeral, each approached the coffin in turn and placed an envelope inside.

While riding in the limousine back from the cemetery, the clergyman said, “I have to confess something to you fellows. Brother Smith was a good churchman all his life, and I know he would have wanted me to do this. The church needs a new baptistery very badly, and I took $10,000 of the money he gave me and bought one. I only put $20,000 in his coffin.”

The physician then said, “Well, since we’re confiding in one another, I might as well tell you that I didn’t put the full $30,000 in the coffin either. Smith had a disease that could have been diagnosed sooner and likely would have extended his life if I had this very new machine. But the machine cost $20,000 and I couldn’t afford it, so I used $20,000 of the money to buy the machine so that I might be able to save another patient. I know that Smith would have wanted me to do that.”

The lawyer then said, “I’m ashamed of both of you. When I put my envelope into that coffin, it held my personal check for the full $30,000.”

***

Nuggets of wisdom gleaned from conversations at the local coffee shop:

• “The word ‘vegetarian’ comes from an old Native American word that means ‘poor hunter.’”

• “Getting quality in these days is a lot like buying oats. If you want clean, pure, and full test-weight oats, you expect to pay for it. If you’re satisfied with oats that have been through the horse, the price can be adjusted accordingly.”

• “A farmer left his entire estate to a pig. Oddly enough, the next year the pig increased the per acre crop yield. It went from 150-bushel corn to 180-bushel pigweed.”

We just got our last snow melted. So, tomorrow we’re supposed to have a near blizzard. That’s par for the course. Hope it ain’t a big ‘un.


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