Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All former redneck farm kids will love this.

[Editor’s note. The following is not original with me. I received it in an email from my friend Carolyn Scott. --RWP]

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie, and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on ‘route marches,’ which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A ‘route march’ is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6’ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8’ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,


  1. Just popping in to say howdy, if this thing will let me comment. I enjoyed this article. All the farm boys I knew were strong, even the skinny ones. How're you? (this is Tracie, or Rosezilla)

  2. Oldie -- and goodie! Brought a smile, which was its intention. Right?

  3. I'm neither a former redneck or a farm kid but this still made me laugh!

    How are you?

  4. Tracie/Rosezilla, long time no see! I'm well, thanks, turned 70 in March. I miss your posts.

    Pat, absolutely!

    Emma, I am not a former redneck either (though some would dispute that) and the three acres on which I grew up thoroughly disqualify me from ever having been a farm kid (all the ones I knew had several hundred acres), even though we did have a horse and a pig and lots of chickens and a good-sized vegetable garden. Your laughter was my aim.

  5. Actually, I've decided to begin blogging again. I've missed everyone, and couldn't stay away any longer! Congratulations on turning 70. I turned 50 in November. I love it!

  6. Thanks for catching my typo in the Sunday School article! How humiliating! There are indeed 66 books of the Bible - I know that, and now I will be forced to learn humbleness, since I cannot edit the article in question. Sigh...

  7. I suppose it would be too much to expect Alice to examine the ethical basis of training young people to go out and kill people for no better reason than the say-so of one man who happened to win an election.

    This piece hearkens back to the folklore that country boys (and girls, in this case) are uniquely qualified to win wars.

  8. Rosezilla (Tracie), every cloud has a silver lining. (I'm not being snide about the humility; I see from your email that you were allowed to edit the article after all.)

    Snow, I'm not sure it's "folklore"...one thing is true: country kids are a lot less whiny than city/suburban kids (because they aren't coddled as much, and learn to obey...which I suppose is your main point). I remember reading that the U.S. Government does not tell you to kill people. All it does is teach you how to kill someone, provide you with the latest equipment and technology, transport you thousands of miles away at no cost to you, put you in a jungle or desert where someone is trying to kill you, and let you make your own decision.