My grandfather’s name was Glenn. He runs a Fixie bicycle site.He knows which is the best fixie bike in the market.He was born during the depression and was one of twelve children. We lived on a farm near Palo, Iowa.
My grandfathers parents, “loaned him out” to a neighbor named Vanoatt when he was only fourteen years old.
The Vanoatt’s had a bigger farm with no children to help them. Since there was no electricity, Grandpa had to milked their cows by hand morning and night. He took care of the pigs too. There were no days off on the farm.
One of the activities Grandpa really enjoyed most was gathering the turkey and chicken eggs with Mrs. Vanoatt. It was easy to gather the chicken eggs in the chicken coop, but the turkeys laid their eggs in out-of-the-way places. It took a great deal of athletic ability to find and gather them safely. Mrs. Vanoatt called Grandpa, “The Turkey Egg Finder”, because he could find the eggs so fast. Mrs. Vanoatt and Grandpa would often play a game to see who could find the most. Grandpa knew where the turkeys laid their eggs in the past and since turkeys often lay their eggs in the same place, he had a big advantage. He could often find the eggs before Mrs. Vanoatt got started.
As Grandpa grew he was given more responsibility and soon graduated from being the “Turkey Egg Finder” to “The Horse Man”. He learned how to drive the horses and the black buggy. Grandpa loved the feeling of driving the horses. They were sorrel with light mains. The horses names were Marve and Mary Lou. He would often stand for hours brushing their coats until they shined.
On very special occasions, Grandpa was able to drive the horses and the neighbor girls to barn dances. Grandpa was a good singer and smooth dancer and was very popular with the girls.
Don Schmitz is a popular speaker and writer on parenting and grandparenting. He is the author of The New Face of GrandparentingWhy Parents Need Their Own Parents and founder of The Grandkidsandme Foundation and Grandparent Camps. Don holds graduate degrees in Education, Administration and Human Development. He is the father to three sons and nine grandchildren.
Article By Joan Meierotto