In the mid 1970's a group of families, including ours, migrated to our village. We were all of similar ages with children. The whys and wherefores of how this diverse group came to settle, for awhile, in this small village along the St. Lawrence river will provide fodder for a great many stories and anecdotes, both sad and hilarious. The common denominator for the larger number of the members of this group was teaching. The commonality for all the members was that they were all employed, middle class Americans seeking a quality life in an economy suffering downturn. Members included: Larry and Alison, Bill and Jane, Larry and Barb, Gerry and Peg, Jerry and Dale, rel and D., Bill and Jean, Buster and Caroline, Jim and Mary C., Jimmy and Nancy, Jane and Ray, and Mary and wayne. I may have left some one out unintentionally and if my readers know of anyone else who was in the Koffee Group please leave a comment or drop me an email and I'll add them herein.
Many of the families had vegetable gardens as did the greater number of households in America. It was a stuggling time for folks and we did what was necessary to save as much of our hard earned currency as possible. We planted vegetables, installed woodstoves and cut wood together, and did DIY home remodling projects. It was a time in life where the lessons of community were lived on a daily basis. This time was really The good ol' days.!!! What do I call the present? (The good now days!)
Jerry and Dale moved from the village to an old run down farm out on Potato Street, about a mile or two from the village. This gave them ample room to have a humongous vegetable garden, plant some nut trees and tend an enormous raspberry patch. The place came with a dilapitated barn which was servicable enough to house a few animals and therein Jerry raised a few pigs for slaughter.
Back in the village, I had decide to raise some rabbits for slaughter and also some chickens to provide eggs, and for stewing when ever they stopped laying.
One day I was building the rabbit hutches in the old rundown excuse for a garage that graced the back yard of our 1/5 acre plot. I took a break for supper and soon after eating the phone rang and it was Jerry of the Potato St. Farm.
Jerry: Whatch doin' rel?
rel: Just finished supper and am about to go out to the garage and finish putting the hardware cloth on the bottoms of the rabbit cages.
Jerry: rel, I just finished finished cleaning out the pig pen. Do you want me to bring you a load of fresh pig shit for your compost pile?
rel: Thanks Jer, but not today. I brought home a truck load of horse manure from Trudy's and that brought the level of my compost pile up to the top so I don't have any room for the pig shit until the pile settles. If you'll set a load aside for me I'll come and get it in a few days.
Jerry; Ok. Maybe I'll come over later for coffee.
rel: sure, ok, see ya then. bye
About an hour later I'm lying on my back underneath the rabbit hutches stapling the wire floors to the bottom of the cages and I hear a car pull up out side the garage. Looking backwards over my forehead from my position flat on my back under the cages I regognize Jerry's white station wagon. I yell out that I'll be fininished in a sec. Jerry says, "take your time. I'll go inside and have a coffee with D."
"Ok," says I, and go back to finishing my task.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later, all done , I crawl out from under the cages and exit the garage to make my way down the hill to the house for coffee with my good friend Jerry. There in the middle of my drive way was a huge pile of fresh reeking pig shit wafting it's pungent aroma down the hill and enveloping a fair share of Main street. Standing on my back porch is my friend with a "gottcha" smile on his face and a cup of coffee in his hand, saying; "Didn't have any place to store it!" I was pissed in an ambivalent sort of way, and said "Thanks Mann, you're a real chum. I'll make good use of this in my garden." The smile faded from his face as I refused to admit I was pissed. My smile broadened as his faded knowing he'd hoped to "get" me.
Aside from a few embarrasing days when passing neighbors walked by holding their noses I was pleased to have this soon to be composted garden gold and believe you me, the garden that year was lush.
My father-in-law, who was a dairy farmer, used to always rave about my garden soil, saying how rich and loamy it looked. I liked to tell him this story about Jerry's pig shit delivery.
Jerry and I? Oh, we went in the house and had coffee. ;>)))