A farm boy's memory of spring break
This is the time of the year for spring break. When the schools and colleges shut their doors for a week so students and teachers can regroup after a long winter of classes and study. A popular activity for college students is to trek off to a Florida beach for week of sun and fun away from the snow and cold.
I remember so well my first year of college (1951-1952), and how I looked forward to spring break. No going to Florida—I had neither interest nor the money to do that. I looked forward to a week on the home farm. I’ll fess up now—as many people who know me are aware; My heart has always been in the country, and likely will always be.
I couldn’t wait for spring break, which in those days was mid-April. I looked forward to hearing the meadowlarks and the mourning doves, and seeing bluebirds and robins. I couldn’t wait to smell newly turned soil, as this was the week when I crawled on our Farmall H tractor and disked and smooth dragged the fields prior to planting oats.
Today, I can still remember the cool mornings, after I helped my dad with the morning milking, ate a big breakfast, and then headed out to the shed for the tractor and a day of having the warm sun on my back while I drove up and back on the twenty-acre field that soon would be oats. No sound of sirens, no traffic sounds. Just the steady drone of the tractor.
After a week of “farming,” I was ready to return to the “big city” refreshed, and ready to endure several more weeks of classes and study before the semester ended, and I could return to the farm for the summer.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Once a farm boy, always a farm boy.
Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to www.jerryapps.com.