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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Aug 30, 2013

Last week I wrote about my wife’s approaching class reunion. When it comes to class reunions, I am the enthusiastic one, and she is the reluctant one.

The reunion is now history, and it was a fun event for her. It was an all-school reunion, and she especially enjoyed a good visit with one of her friends who graduated a year behind her.

I asked why she and the other girl were such good friends since they were not in the same class.

She said, “There were farm kids, and there were town kids. We were town kids and we hung out together.”

When she said farm kids and town kids, I knew exactly what she meant.

I had forgotten about that distinction from all those years ago.

My wife and I may have grown up 200-plus miles apart more than 50 years ago, but we grew up under the same circumstances.

The only difference was that I was a farm kid.

I envied the town kids. They had friends who were only a short distance away and could see them almost anytime.

I had cousins who lived in town and to visit them for a day was a treat.

I knew everyone I saw and the best part was when we were able to bring our bicycles to town and glide along easily on hard surface roads all over town.

It was a 3-mile trip to town on a gravel road so we did not go often by bicycle.

When my cousins from town visited our farm, they enjoyed the animals, especially our pets as we always had a dog and several cats.

We could always play in the barn and there was lots of room to shoot off firecrackers on the Fourth of July, so I am sure they thought life on a farm was a great life.

Besides envying my cousins who lived in town, I also thought my classmates from large families had it good.

They always had stories to tell about older brothers and sisters.

All I had was two younger sisters.

One of my classmates, who was in the middle in a family of 10 children, not only had lots going on but told about “playing in the crick.”

I thought how could anyone be so lucky to have all that and a creek too?

I even asked my dad how we could get a creek, but he said it could not be done.

Years later, after graduation, I saw my classmate’s “crick” and it was not much more than a shallow drainage ditch a person could jump across.

I had imagined boats and inner tubes, but all this creek was good for was an easy place to water the cattle.

All these memories came flooding back to me just because my wife said there were farm kids and there were town kids.

She was connecting with friends from her past in a large conference room and I was connecting with those good friends from my past in my mind.

Both of us, each in our own way, were attending our class reunions fueled by memories from years and years ago.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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