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


.  Occupancy achieved,  the Willson family crowning  a residency in Kiowa at 324 N. 11th,  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.  Gary immediately beginning 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  a scant eight feet from the rear property line, a single strand wire cattle electric hot wire separating the house from the adjacent pasture acreage.  The acreage,   a provisional residency for seasonal grazing cattle.  The couple learning  during harvest,  the property was aptly named  Thoroughbred Trailer Park,  providing hookups and RV parking for visiting wheat harvest Custom Cutters.

.  The owner of the property north and east of the Willson’s newly acquired residence belonged to 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 high school 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.   Gary found it was rumored Chuck had a reputation for his abruptness and was held with questionable esteem by most of the community,  mainly an antecedent of his required plumbing fees,  and his gruff nature.  Gary assessing the backyard or what little there was of it,  when a slight balding older man approached, introducing himself as Chuck Payne, mentioning his acquaintance to Gary’s father inlaw Bud Murrow, then acknowledging the Willson’s new residency.  During the conversation,  Chuck with a concerned look mentioned  the cattle hot wire,  telling Gary he would move it further away from the house so the family could have a little more back yard space.  Gary finding Chuck a very pleasant person, thanking him for the consideration and within, acknowledging something about the man others may have failed to recognize,  compassion.

.  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 an 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 problem, most of the time it ran find, but there were times when it would just die.  After a test drive, the excursion going well,  Gary considering what Chuck had said and the implied risk, deciding it’s considerably low price was an overriding factor.   The German made conveyance proved to be non-compliant.  Jan with two little ones on a trip to Alva having car trouble, Gary visiting with Keith Rathgeber at D and W Body and Repair about the intermittent problem, surprised when Keith offered to buy it.   The couple once again in need of a car,  deciding to venture to Wichita in search of a more appreciative application.  Traversing East Kellogg,  known as automobile row,  probing for an inexpensive  but reliable mode of transportation.  The endeavor successful,  Jan returning home,  driving a small red 1976,  2 door 4 speed manual shift, front seat only Chevrolet Chevette hatchback. The 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 accommodate child restraining  car seats.

.  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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