I have a lot of family members who are really in to studying and learning our family history. It isn't uncommon for piles of photographs and genealogy records to appear soon after desert at our family reunions. It's great; I love to just sit back and listen to all the stories the older generations have to share.
Recently my great uncle sent me this photo of our Uncle Emanual, my great great uncle.
He was born in 1906 and died in 1989. He was one of 10 children, never married and farmed his whole life. He lived with his sister in the house where they had been born and raised. I'm guessing this photo was probably taken during the 1970's, maybe late 60's.
Now I've seen tons of old photos of my family members over the years that probably span a hundred years. But there is something about this photo of Emanual that really grabs me.
Maybe it's his casual pose standing in his cornfield as though it's exactly where he belongs. Maybe it's his weathered face and hands and sweat stained hat that reflect the years of farm work he's accumulated during his lifetime. Maybe it interests me because it's taken in the fall, my favorite season.
I think this photo intrigues me because I can imagine that Emanual had a lot to say....a lot of stories, a lot of opinions, a lot of knowledge to add to life.
I don't think I ever met Emanual but this photo makes me wish I had. I imagine he probably had many fascinating stories to tell. He lived and worked through the Great Depression and two World Wars. I've been in the two story brick farm house where he was raised and I can't imagine 10 children EVER fitting into it.
Of course I'm intrigued by all old farmers....and their stories. I've met my fair share and I don't think I went away from any of them without a chuckle. Old farmers have personalities that I don't think can be matched by any other profession; funny, stubborn, hardworking, insightful.
Yeah, I wish I had known old Emanual. Do you have an old farmer in your life?
(If you are married to one, my God be with you!)