An Agglutination Of Meaning …#156 (70’s)

An unwelcome sight during harvest

An unwelcome sight during harvest

Occupancy achieved,  the Willson family crowning  a residency at 324 N. 11th st.,  Jan and Gary rendering the front downstairs bedroom, Robert and Sandi,  residing in the two upstairs berths.   The turn of the century non-insulated,  draft prone structure,  providing a quandary in maintaining an acceptable temperature disposition.    An upright gas heater located in the  bay window dining room area  a replacement for the removed floor furnace,  the lone source of calefaction for the house.   Gary immediately began a caulking exercise on the established vintage window frames  providing some relief from the temporal audacity and  blusterous Kansas winds.  The two-story edifice,  once a family icon was moored to the aft of the lot a scant eight feet from the rear dominions property line, a  single electric hot wire strand separating the house from the adjacent acreage.  In addition the acreage was  a provisional residency for seasonal grazing cattle and the couple learning that during harvest the property was aptly named the Thoroughbred Trailer Park providing hookups and RV parking  for visiting Custom Cutters.

Chuck Payne's acreage as seen from Gary's house

The Payne residence and acreage as seen from Gary’s house

The owner of the property  adjoining the Willson’s newly acquired residence on two sides was Chuck Payne, his house residing on the northern section of a pasture, Jan acquainted with the Payne’s, their son Kent a member of her class.  Payne by profession was a well established  plumbing, heating and air contractor working out of his shop located adjacent to his home on N. 11th St..   Gary found it was rumored that Chuck had a reputation and was addressed with little esteem by most of the community  mainly an antecedent of his required plumbing fees and his abrupt nature.  While assessing the backyard, what little there was of it,  a slight balding man about Gary’s father age approached introducing himself as Chuck Payne, mentioning his acquaintance to Gary’s father-in-law Bud Murrow,  acknowledging the Willson’s new residency.  During the conversation Chuck noting the nearness of his single strand cattle hot wire to the house telling Gary he would  move it further away from the house to give the family a little more room.   Gary applied his appreciation for the consideration and within he acknowledged something to himself about the man something others may have failed to recognize,  compassion.

Jan's 76 Chevette - No back seat but a provision for business - car seat and basinette

Jan’s 76 Chevette – No back seat but a provision for a child’s car seat and bassinet

He knew this day would come, with the budding family there was a need for an additional vehicle. Gary inquiring at work if anyone knew of a cheap inexpensive car for his wife to get around in, discovering that Chuck Payne had a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle for sale.  Gary visiting with Chuck found him hesitant in selling it,  noting that it had what he called an irregular problems, most of the time it ran find, but there were times when it would just die.  After a test drive excursion which went well,  Gary considered what Chuck had said and the risk, deciding it’s considerably low price was an over-riding factor.   The German-made conveyance proved to be non-compliant, Jan with two little ones on a trip to Alva having car trouble, Gary finding that  Keith Rathgeber at D & W Body and Repair was willing to take it off his hands.  The couple once again in need of a car deciding to venture to Wichita in search of a more appreciative application.  Traversing E. Kellogg known as automobile row  probing for an inexpensive,  but reliable mode of transportation,  the endeavour successful the couple  returning  Jan driving a small red  1976 Chevrolet Chevette 2 door hatchback.     The  1.4 liter,  53 hsp, 4cyl.,  4 speed manual, front seat only, Chevette wasn’t exactly what they wanted but the good news about the compact, besides being air-conditioned, the rear compartment was perfect for mounting a platform that would accommodating a bassinet and child restraining  car seat.

The haste before the storm

The haste before the storm

With the approach of wheat harvest Gary discovering a new demeanor prevailing at the Service Company and within the abounding farming community.  An aura of concern, with the readiness of the wheat,  a meaningful watch of the sky,  the elements now dictating their time-table for garnering the fruits of their labor.   Gary exposed to a new experience  witnessing a whole community bonding with nature to complete the harvesting cycle a prerequisite for an agricultural ambition.  What the rural community took for granted the new John Deere employee found engrossing, the word livelihood used in context to a farmer was more than just a descriptive word,  the  label fulfilling an agglutination of meaning and encompassing the effort and toil of the farmer.

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