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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Uncle John

Family Man posts a lot of great stories; today’s was about The Hay Field. It reminded me of a story about Uncle John, a colorful character who is the genesis of many family stories. Uncle John was the oldest of my dad’s brothers, has been a farmer all his life, and... shall we say, has a bit of a temper. I actually saw him go toe-to-toe with an uncooperative horse once, and the horse decided to cooperate.

But Family Man wrote about his experiences in a hay field, so the first story is one my dad told me about a hay field. He and Uncle John were getting ready to bale some hay — it was cut and dry and ready to go. So just as they started, it started to rain (and as Family Man said, that’s not good news). So Uncle John raised his face and his fist to the sky and started cussing the rain — and it stopped. He cussed it right back into the sky.

In his later years, he developed diabetes and lost circulation in his legs. They amputated one leg, and then the other some time later. So he’s laying in the hospital bed after the second amputation and a male nurse came in to get some information. He asked about name, address, date of birth, then said, “How tall are you?”

“I don’t know,” Uncle John replied. “The doctor didn’t tell me how much he cut off.” The nurse got so flustered he walked out. He gets around pretty well with prosthetics and a walker — he needs a little help getting on and off his tractor, but he’s fine once he’s in the seat.

His farm is 105 acres in southwest Michigan, in an area that’s turned into a bedroom community for several of the nearby cities, and the subdivisions have grown up all around him. He just keeps on doing his thing. Every once in a while, developers come by and ask him if he’s willing to sell his place; his response usually boils down to, “Get your @!&$##& #$!@!! the $&#@&! off my property!”

Old farmers can be among the most stubborn folks on God’s green earth.


  1. Hi FARfetched. Uncle John sounds like an original. I have a few relatives that fit the same mold also. :)

    I hope FAR Manor has a good 4th weekend.

  2. "An original." Good description. Thanks!


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