Our Farm

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Ted Richards, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2017
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    I will always admire my father for having the courage to buy a farm in the early years of the great depression. I suppose he felt that at least he could feed his family. He bought 80 acres from a Mexican farmer that lived on the farm next to ours. A Mexican family had originally developed the farm and built a large rambling adobe house and a smaller adobe barn. Adobe bricks are made of good sticky mud mixed with straw and sun-dried. The bricks are about 3 inches thick; and 18 inches long by 9 inches wide. First, they poured a cement slab and then erected the walls, including interior walls using good sticky mud for mortar. The inside walls were plastered and whitewashed and it was topped off with a galvanized iron roof that we called a “tin roof”. It made an excellent house because the walls were 18 inches thick so it was easily heated in winter and remained reasonably cool in summer.

    The house also had a full-length screened porch over a cement slab. I loved that porch. When we had hard driving summer rains, it was a great place to watch a very dramatic lightning display and some of the rain would blow in, forming large puddles on the uneven floor. Those were my “oceans” and I could walk around on the “continents” and draw bays, inlets and canals with my fingers. The porch framing was a fine place to keep my treasured rock collection on display. It was also about the only smooth place to ride my tricycle and later, roller-skates.

    Though our farm was 80 acres, only about 40 acres was under irrigation. The rest was rocky hillside and sandy canyon bottom. It seemed big to me then but I realize now how small it was. My folks never had much money but we certainly ate well since we raised our own pigs, chickens, cattle and dairy cows. There were even some bee trees in the river bottom that my father robbed the honey from. We didn’t have to buy much and in those days, flour was sold in 100-pound bags. The bags were good cotton in attractive prints. Mom was careful to buy bags with a print she liked so she could make shirts for me.

    We went to town once a month on a Saturday to shop. Town was 30 miles away over a pretty rough, but paved road. I remember the speed limit then was 30 mph and our old ’29 Ford pickup would do about 45 on the straight stretches but most of that road was very crooked and 30mph was about the maximum. We always spent the whole day in town and ate lunch at the drugstore soda fountain. I wandered in and out of most of the stores but the hardware store was my favorite. In the afternoon, I went to the matinee at one of the three movie theaters. They were usually westerns. The scariest movie I ever saw was Lost World. I had nightmares about dinosaurs for years afterward.
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
    Moderator Registered

    Jan 21, 2015
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    Great post.

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