(Link no longer up)The late spring and early summer of 1959 and 1960 I was a Farm Reporter (parochial “Measuring Tobacco”) for the USDA in Hart County, KY office. On one beautiful spring morning, I had the papers for a farm own by a person I knew by word of mouth. I knew nothing about the family and had to get direction to the farm place. The road to the driveway to the home was fairly good but the driveway was not in shape for me to drive my father’s 1958 Custom 300 Ford down to the house. The house was in the woods the only yard was wood chips. When I arrive there were two women outside washing clothes. They both were between the ages 50-60 ?? bare foot with facial features from Deliverance. I expressed my reason for being there. One went and found a man near his 70s ? that took me to the place I had to report the amount of acreage of tobacco they were growing.
I remember the man had a sore about the size of a dime right below his lip. It was of a color I had never seen and an oder I had to avoid. He had a hearing disorder that I had to get close for him to hear. All things considered, I tried to get his and my work done quickly.
When we got back to the house three more people became visible. A young lady and her two children. She walked back to the car with me and we chatted a bit. She and the children spoke, looked and dressed to KY standards. I do not remember any names of this family except the stated owner, Harvey, who was not there that morning.
Most people in there area thought they knew who was the mamma, the papa, the children, the siblings, but I think mostly guess work.
Harvey was a student in elementary school where my mother’s sister taught. Learned anything, I think not. However he was drafted into the Army during WW ll. Somebody sited a mechanical genius and taught him to be an airplane mechanic. After the war was over he loved his family more than a fancy career so he can back to his wooded home. He never forgot his training and his service was often sought for his mechanical genius, (not airplanes)
The one thing I remember most about Harvey was a statement he made in answer to a question. The farm Harvey lived on had some timber land worth 10 of thousands of dollars in the 50s. Harvey did not seem to have any interest in cashing in on the assets. When asked why he did not, his reply, “Some of my neighbors might get burned out, then I could helped them.
Today as I look back upon that day, I see the value of the living experience these folks gave me. You will have to look hard to find people with more humility than they. That spiritual quality we must seek so we can live in harmony with God and our fellow man.
I do not know why a crazy brain of mine thought about Harvey’s family when I read the above link. However I think if these people had a certain amount of that precious quality (humility) Harvey’s family had, we would not be harassing a very valuable Tupelo asset.