Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Uncle Adin!

By my figures, you would have celebrated today with a birthday cake holding one hundred and twenty one candles.

So, another written memory from Mom--

Adin L. Baker: By Aunt CB

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


Sue Kinsella said...

Maybe this is a feature of getting older, but time seems less linear to me these days. So it seems reasonable that I could still go visit Adin, bring him a big birthday cake with 121 candles, and sit and talk with him about his life. Why doesn't that work? Sure wish it would.

Jack Kinsella said...

A favorite Adin memory of mine was one visit when he asked if the kids would like to go fishing--Sue, Dan and Tim at the time. Naturally, they all said yes so we all hopped into our station wagon with fish poles and off we went. I remember Adin directed us up a hill and there was a pond on top. I said to him,"Uncle Adin, I don't have a New Your State fishing license." He replied, "Doesn't make any difference, this is state land and no fishing is allowed."
So we fished anyway!
Jack Kinsella