If they'd had reality TV shows when I was growing up, I'd have made a million dollars. Well, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars; well, maybe they'd have paid me...
I didn't think much about holding public office as I was pulling cockleburrs up by their roots in those Iowa cornfields of my youth. There wasn't a thought about taxes, budgets, zoning issues or citizen complaints as I was dispatching sunflower roots from the soil. I lived a relatively carefree life in regard to politics. Legislators all over the country are returning to their collective seats as this column is written in early January.
This is the winter of a Minnesota sports lover's discontent. There are no more bright horizons on our screen. We have slumped into the depths of January with only a faint glimmer of hope for the coming year. Why do I no longer get upset when a Minnesota sports team bites the dust? Have I become numb to the pain of defeat? Do I no longer harbor any hope of ever attaining that pride that goes with winning? Am I depressed due to lack of sunlight or is it something more insidious? Over the past 20 some years I've provided a win/loss forecast for the Minnesota Twins.
New Year's Eve came and went without much fanfare during my early years on the farm. The Christmas rush is over and this week the world will rejoice by turning a page on the calendar to the year 2015. We've been receiving gift calendars for a couple of weeks now from businesses. It's an advertising ploy to get a business' name in front of you every time you turn to a new month. My wife and my business were no different. We always chose a calendar that sported old west scenes with wild horses and longhorn steers and cowboys.
The following Last Windrow "Classic" column was written in 1990 when my daughter was 5 years old.
Adolf was going to get a bull for Christmas. Jack and Tom were brothers who lived in the creases of the western Iowaloess hills. They had settled in a valley surrounded by high hills during the early 1900s. They worked together to clear the flat bottom land and pasture the steep sides of the yellow dirt hills. They built a modest white farmhouse there using their carpenter skills learned from relatives who had immigrated to this area from the Bohemian hills of the western Czech Republic. It was a quiet place to live.
My country boy Christmas gift wish list used to be quite short, but I never said, "I really don't need anything." If you are a young hunter or fisherman, there are certain things you really don't want for Christmas. A new pair of socks dulls our eyes. Underwear puts a lump in our throats.
Christmas trees were few and far between on the slopes and valleys of northwestern Iowa, where I grew up. The trees I was familiar with were cottonwoods, ash, box elder and Chinese elm trees, for the most part. None of them would make much of a Christmas tree, although I'd bet they had been used for that purpose over time. We had two huge Colorado spruce trees in the front yard of our house, but they were 30 feet tall and never thought of as possibly being our holiday tree.
No venison roast will be adorning our table this Thanksgiving Day. No deer with antlers ever entered my rifle scope during the three-weekend season in my part of the world. Not that anyone would really complain about not having venison roast for Thanksgiving. Some of my beloved relatives actually turn their noses up at the thought of chowing down on deer meat, and putting it on the table with all the other delectable treats would be sacrilegious. So, this year we will fall back on the traditional turkey dinner and all the trimmings.
October 20, 1908 - Sold Herman Lang 105 pounds of beef at .06 a pound, total $6.30. October 21, 1908 - Sold Frank Luksan 95 pounds of beef at .07...