|Bean walking crew of the 70's|
(back - Aunt Kathy, Mom, Dad, Uncle Rich, Uncle Guy)
(front - me, Mark and Matt)
Although not a feeling I experience frequently, another memory is the feel of wet plants rubbing against my exposed legs. Yes, this is the memory of bean walking on those many early June and July Iowa mornings in years past. If you grew up in the farm country of the Midwest, you completely understand what I’m talking about.
For those inexperienced in the former art of bean walking (machines and chemicals have made this trade obsolete), let me explain a bit. In order to receive top dollar for their harvested crops in the fall, farmers would work diligently to produce weed-free fields of soybeans. In the seventies this task was accomplished by use a work force well trained in the art of identifying milk weeds, button weeds, and arrant corn stocks. Each unintended plant visitor had a differing method of removal.
My brothers and I were well trained in the use of our hoe versus pulling weeds deep from the root with our gloved hands. In later years, we were given spray bottles filled with Round Up (which I now think probably wasn’t a such a good idea for our long-term health).
Included on each check in the memo section, in her very immaculate handwriting, would be her careful pay calculations. This check always seemed massive in amount and felt magical in our pockets as we traveled to the bank. Although much of it was put into savings, we were also allowed to have some mad money for a shopping splurge.
|Matt and I show off our new treasures|