Rose Garden


“Didn’t you bring a shovel?” Dan,”I asked you to bring one.” There is one thing missing, it wasn’t on aunt Sophie’s estate sale. I bet it is in a watertight box buried in her rose garden. Someone¬†bought her prized wallpaper brush and the kerosene lantern she used in the attic at night. The big old burlap bag she kept everything in was also on that sale. Nobody had any idea what those items meant to Sophie. “That is just the point, nobody had any idea, because all of it was a rumor a generation ago.”

Sophie was a very prominent wallpaper hanger by day. She had her own printing sideline by night, with a little hand cranked printing press. She could turn out hundred dollar bills that would fool anyone at the Treasury Department

That old rumor should have died along with uncle Joe, years ago. You and I are the only ones living who know about this. Out of respect for the memory of aunt Sophie, let’s end it here today. That is why I didn’t bring the shovel.

Farming in Transition

Hay stacking 1939 at Lake Poinsett.jpg


This picture depicts the transition of the Midwestern United States farmer. This picture was taken in 1938, at that time everything was done on the farm with manual labor, forks, shovels and the help of a couple oxen and later a team of horses.

This is my grandfather stacking wild hay on the still virgin prairie. The seeds on that hay were like little arrows with a three inch shaft. You could throw them like darts. When they got wet they turned into a cork screw and turned them selves into the earth. The horse is operating the hay stacking machine with a big rope. My dad was on top of the stack leveling the hay and making a uniform stack that will shed the snow and rain. My mother and brother might have been bringing lunch.

This was an era about to end, as the farmers started to acquire their first farm tractors. The farmer at that time was barely able to produced enough to sustain his own family and livestock, with some grain left over to sell on the market.

Fast forward to the year 2015. Farming with modern equipment, modern farming methods, new types of seed and fertilizer, they are producing huge quantities of food. One farmer feeding 155 people!

Justin Wan/The Gazette Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at Englert Theater in Iowa City on May 15. of food.Reynolds says “one Iowa farmer feeds 155 people worldwide.”