Where the metal hit the row

first_img Top Searches Top Searches IndiansTreaInter By Rick Houser-Since it was a very hard way to earn money, I doubt that I will ever mention tobacco and not mention how labor intensive it really was. It was a safe bet that if someone said they raised tobacco, they knew firsthand what real work was. I feel it will always be safe to from time to time to tell of an experience we once had in the never ending tales of hard work, always connected to the family. This was a crop that took the whole family to grow.From the collecting of wood to burn a tobacco seed bed until we had set out the plants in a field to begin their growth, much had been done, but the thing was we were only about halfway done. Once the crop was set out it was then time to cultivate and keep the tobacco patches weed- free. This was done in two ways. First was the use of a tractor and a set of cultivators. Dad had two goals in this task and that was to plow out weeds and roll the earth towards the plant to create a ridge so when it became tobacco cutting time we had a great place to jab the tobacco sticks.The second goal and the part I remember the most was going to a patch with a hoe in your hand and walking those rows to chop any weeds the cultivator might have missed and to uncover a plant if too much earth covered the plant. I recall my Dad heading towards a patch before the sun would rise to get a head start on the cultivating so when those of us with the hoes arrived we could begin immediately. (He didn’t want us to not have something to do immediately.) There could be as many as four or five of us to walk the rows after Dad cultivated and a group like that did help in making the work seem a little easier. We would begin early so as not to be out in an unshaded field in the heat of the day. Rare was it that I can remember any hoeing in the heat of the day. We might not get finished and would have to return after we had eaten supper and hoe in the cool of the evening.As the years moved onward and my parents moved away from the farm, it was cousin Walt and I who became the crew for the most part. It seems we would find a man or two or some cousins to carry on with the hoes but it was my turn to drive the tractor and cultivator and Walt would run the crew. (Mostly the Hetterick boys as they would work hard for us.) I soon realized that Dad’s early departure to a tobacco patch was quite an interesting way to start a day. Our old tractor we used to cultivate with was an 8N Ford tractor. It had headlights on it but up until that time I had never seen them light up so I just assumed they were ornaments and weren’t meant to light up. But going to a patch before the sun rose could be a tricky little ride. Especially if you met a car on the road.Now Walt was skilled at electronics and pointed out to me that those lights were supposed to work. So I said, “Well just show me please and stop telling me how it would work.” (Walt loved to give you the details.) In less than an hour that tractor had bright lights. Hallelujah, a miracle!The next morning I decided to put those lights to the test. I headed towards the tobacco field at four o’clock in the morning. The trip was about three miles and it was a trip so different than most any I ever took on a tractor. As I recall there was most of a full moon still out and that helped cause the morning to speed to sunrise. The morning air was cool and the dew was heavy on the grass and leaves. To be perfectly honest with you it was quite a beautiful sight. The sight of seeing the world waking up and the night headed for its bedtime all in one trip.Any sound carried at a long distance or so it seemed. When I got to the patch I stopped and turned the tractor off for just a few minutes. To me those few minutes were epic. The still of the night for one thing, but then I began to hear birds and some morning animals. It hit me that I was witnessing them waking up and I was the only human out there on that morning to hear them. Those few moments to me became some of the most special moments I have ever heard, even now.After that morning I began to rise and shine early and get out into the world as it was coming to life. This part of the cultivating of the tobacco crop was of course the best part but there was still part two. That was with the hoe gripped in your hands, walking across a healthy growing crop and not being alone the entire procedure didn’t seem as bad as it could be.We would all take a row and head across the patch. In the years when my Mom was still in the fields with us she led us or pushed us. She was only 4’11” and 100 pounds but she had no problem at keeping a group of men hoeing on the go. She would say things like, “Come on now boys we don’t want to be out here when it gets hot.” Sometimes she would reach over out of her row and chop a weed or two you had missed in yours. She never pointed it out as that might show you up but guess what- it could sure make you feel embarrassed.One thing I never mastered and that was my Dad always had a hoe that rested on the cultivators so he could help us when he finished. Thing is if he did get done ahead of us he might get to hoe part of a row as we would be finishing. Quite frankly his hoe even had some rust on it. He claimed that it was great timing and with us as a crew he just never got the chance to hoe much. I never was never an expert at that kind of good timing. Not even once.Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics, If you would like to read some more of his writing he has two books for sale. You can contact him at [email protected], or write him at P.O. Box 213 Bethel, Ohio 45106. HomeOpinionColumnsWhere the metal hit the row PreviousNew Dairy Queen opens in West UnionNextA Day of Valor to remember forever Around the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterThis Weird Method Can Restore Your Vision Naturally (Watch)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. 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