|March 2, 2011|
|Thursday, 03 March 2011 00:00|
by Bob Smith
Hi there. We are probably the happiest and most contented we have ever been, we are old, slow, frequently in pain – yet we are content – and happy! We think it must be because we live in Northeastern Indiana, and have been trying to decide what about it fits us so well.
We both grew up on small farms, in an area of small farms and small towns. Our families’ churches played an important part in our youth and development. School was important to us, and our parents appreciated when we did well in scholastic activities.
Here in Churubusco, the schools were excellent when we arrived, and we met many young people who moved here specifically so their children could attend Churubusco Schools. We like the variety of churches and church services offered in this area, and we have found the area people friendly. Judy enjoys sewing and quilting clubs, and doing sewing things for hospitalized children and the elderly, and enjoys her upstairs sewing room she named “Seams Heavenly.”
I grew up when horses were the main traction device on farms, and learned to love feeling, through the two handles, the walking plow slice through the soil as our team pulled the plow, answering to our commands of “GEE!” ‘turn left’ and HAW!” ‘turn right.’ Of course, I wasn’t allowed to curse out loud like sometimes the neighbors did.
I have met a lot of good farmers in this area, most younger than I, but many are farming huge acreages with tremendous financial investment. When I was a Government Agricultural Economist, I participated in establishing what investment it took to create family incomes in the 1950’s, and the successful farmers had more investment than the average non-farming businesses.
It was a real challenge to maintain straight plow furrows with a team and walking plow – my Dad bought one when I was eight years old for $6 – the well financed farmers of today may have G.P.S. (computerized scientific stuff) that tells the planter what mixture of fertilizer nutrients to spread on that particular spot of the farm as it passes while planting the seed of the crop he has chosen, as well as keeping the furrows arrow straight. The farmer may sit in an air-conditioned cab, but I bet he gets the same feeling of pride when the job is done well as my brothers, my Dad, and I got many years ago.
I leased my truck to North American Van Lines for about 30 years, having been divorced, and feeling somewhat of a failure. When it came time to think about retiring, I realized I knew more people, and had more friends in this area, than any other. Al Knapp, a Churubusco business man, knew Sam Taulbee had sold his farmstead, and that it was coming up again for sale, and he told Patti Cartwright, who had been a North American employee and contractor, who told me.
I drove into the yard, loved it, got back into my truck, and went to deliver my load of high value stuff. When I talked to the sales agent, I was told their finance company refused to make me a loan, since I had no address and I owed no one any money. Patti sent me to her banker, Gary Wright, who asked for an address (I gave him someone else’s), he knew my bank account and history, and I am sure, spoke well of me.
Bon Zumbrun was the first neighborhood farmer to drive in my driveway to welcome me, and he and Arleen remain two of the favorite people in my life. I highly respect Churubusco businesses, especially Bob Egolf, Dr. Willyard, Tom Cormany and Morey Freeman, and if any of them, or even you, run for political office, I will vote for you! This is a wonderful community. . . good gardening