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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Spring Potatoes

-Pa, how do you get the coverin’ disks to hit the furrow?

-They jest do, son.

-But you never look, pa.

-Keep your eyes on the horizon, boy. Sound advice always.

-But how do you know?

-Waste of time to tend that which tends itself, son. Got to trust to God and yourself. Who else you gonna trust, exactly?

-Did you learn what goes on behind you?

-Same as you, son, riding and asking a lot of damn fool questions. My pa said that if the nattering ever stopped in his wake, he’d know enough to turn the rig back towards the house and arrange a funeral. Nothing else would shut my piehole.

-You’ve gone quiet now, pa.

-What a man says has meaning, son. Gotta choose your words careful. Can’t get two drinks in you and start a ruckus with a neighbor you might need someday. Makes a man pick through his words like picking through the taters looking for eyes. Don’t pay to plant them if the seed ain’t there, or the ground is like to be barren. Children can talk as they like.

-I’m a man now, pa.

-Shaving don’t make a man, son. You’ll go quiet in your turn. Don’t rush it. Talk to that girl, the one from away, at the Grange Hall fetes a bit first. Or you’ll never get anyone to hound you from the back of the tractor for your own.
And sakes; keep your prayer handles between the hoppers or you’ll muck up the line of the pickers and the furrow opener. I can feel it.

4 Responses

  1. I received that “keep your eyes on the horizon” advice in another context: Airborne School. I was in a parachute harness, hooked up to the pulley they used for training, 34 feet up. Scared me so much my voice went all soprano on me. You forget your altitude when you look to the horizon.

    It worked when I was in the door of a C-141, too.

  2. Hi Ruth Anne- I trust you are proud of your service to your country. You should be.

    I jumped twice, and I recall that advice too. Human nature makes people draw their legs up when they see the ground coming up at them and they land on their butt and break their coccyx.

    It occurred to me, as I got my turn in the door, that the sensation of jumping out of the plane would be the same whether you were wearing a parachute or not. Every fiber of your body is instructing you not to do it. You can talk to your frontal lobes all you want, but your brain stem ain’t havin’ it.

  3. Were your jumps military or civilian? If military, why only two?

    I am quite proud of my service. It made a patriot out of me. And that’s saying a lot if you knew what I gave them to work with.

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