So, another written memory from Mom--
Imagine yourself, hunkered down beside Adin in the barn; you know how to hunker, just squat and stabilize yourself. He has just finished shoveling the drops after milking, “clean enough to eat from!’ Or maybe he’d just finished spraying each cow before applying the milking machine, in an effort to keep the flies off them–or has he just completed a walk down behind each cow, looking for money tucked underneath the cow’s tails.
No matter what has gone before, now you are all hunkered down in a circle, waiting to hear the latest tale. Will it be of his wife with the traveling wart? And if so, where will it be today, her nose, her knee or her elbow? He pulls out a Camel cigarette, lights it, and begins a story (he met up with cigarettes in the Army where they were handed out free.)
This beloved man, who fathered no children, was adept at pulling from his fertile imagination characters to fascinate little ones! “Timothy astraddle the haystack” was one I never heard of but small girls who spent time with Grandma on the farm while their mother, her cousin, tried to cure of TB did. And remembered him all their years even into their 90's. Harold and I were lucky to be part of the “Roll Down Stocking Club” of great fame. That’s been written of before.
Always though, we were there to “help” him! Culling trees from the woods across the road, we rode the empty wagon down and walked back. Clearing the back pasture spring of weeds for the animals to drink from? We helped pull green stuff out and “hunkered” again, for another chapter on his wife. Turn the grindstone for him to sharpen his axes before a job in the woods? There were many arms offered.
This man was a giant! A many dimensioned person who surely had traveled the world. To us he was so. To others he was a farmer, a quiet conscientious man, dependable, one who was truly a friend to all. A simple shy man of tremendous hidden depth. We who knew him are forever blessed.
Picture One: Baker Farm, 1913