(Charles E. Page, January 2006)
From the time Alberta and I were married in 1946 and lived on the Butlers Corners farm, we did things together as much as possible, and when our kids were born they joined us in about everything we did.
Looking back through the years some of the best memories were of our whole family working together on some simple chore, such as, husking corn out in the field on a crisp, sunny fall day.
Hopefully, all of you can remember with pleasure your own kind of "husking corn" days.
"Husking the Corn"
The rays of the warm autumn sunshine
Beat down to the cornís frosted toes.
A small, cooling breeze whispered past us
And rustled the length of the rows.
Fat ear-men with dangling, tanned faces
Turned brown by frostís early lash
Immortal, in shiny gold kernels
Grinned out through each corn silk mustache.
A youngster groaned in reluctance
"To pick it will take us all day!
While husking please tell us a story
To help pass the slow time away"
"líll tell you the way I lived, children,
When I was, like you, a young tad,
And I lived with my folks in the city,
When tales of the twenties were made.
We sat on the porch those fall evenings
The rumble of trains shook the street.
Came smoke though the gathering darkness
From leaves burning, distant, and sweet.
We sat there as one, all together
For then no TV was inside
To lure us kids off the veranda
Enticed by the fight and the ride.
The milk wagon horse in the morning
With metronome hoofs stirred our legs
To hurry downstairs to a breakfast
Of oatmeal, or pancakes and eggs.
And later, we kids would watch mother
Make cookies and piecrust and bread.
Sometimes got a penny for candy,
But mostly an apple instead."
Our lives seemed so simple and wholesome
Way back in that long ago day,
When parents had time to be parents
And children had time just to play.
We husked, as we talked, in the cornfield
The ears in the wagon we threw
As slowly the sun drifted westward
The higher the rich pile grew.
"Iíd hate to live in the city,"
Said Fay, with the wind on her face,
"With smoke and the noise of the railroad
And miss all this clean country space."
I laughed and agreed, "It is better
Out here with the crow and the dove,
But where you live matters so little,
If youíre there with the ones you love."
(Will YOU, in the eighties and nineties
When all your OWN children are born
Remember with equal nostalgia
This autumn, and husking the corn?)
Authorís note: I wrote this " poem ? "(I think it was about 1962.)
The eighties and nineties seemed so far in the future then!
Charles E. Page January 2006
"Painting the Garage" 1957
(left to rt.) Jill, Fay, Chas on ladder, Alberta, each painting what they could reach
"Making a Pile of Limbwood" (1958)
Bub and Fay (with Neuter, the dog), getting up limbwood for buck-sawing into firewood.
"Fay, Jill, and Bub Stacking Firewood" (1958)
"Alberta and Fay Piling Fence posts" (1958)