Long ago, at a very early age, most of my friends wanted to be cowboys, policeman, fireman and army man, I had aspirations of being a farmer. I wanted to ride on those bright colored tractors across the open fields where it was always sunny with blue skies dotted with puffy clouds. When I got tired of that I would go pet the cows and horses while playing with my collie "Lassie". As I got older that desire continued to burn and in 7th grade I made friends with a country boy, Fred Eggers. We became fast friends and eventually I wormed my way into being invited to the family farm just south of Des Moines. They ran about 60 head of dairy cows and some acres in crops. We played until about 4pm when Fred asked me if I would like to help with chores, my chance had come. We walked for what seemed a couple of miles but in reality probably about 1/2 mile and ther began heading the cows to the barn to be milked. They had a modern operation with the automatic milking machines and Fred began hooking up udders. His dad, Martin, was also doing hookups when he turned and offered "Would you like to help milk?" "Sure" I replied eagerly. He took me over to a stall in the corner of the barn occupied by one of the cows. "No one hooks my cow's up until they've learned to mil by hand." So began one of the many lessons the Egger family taught me about farming, baling hay, painting any thing that wasn't moving, how to determine weather, judging the markets etc.. A few times he offered to pay me but I declined, learning was my pay plus the opportunity to spend time with one of the nicest families I've ever known. What real lesson did I get out of this? I just wasn't smart enough to be a farmer but for the rest of my life they would carry my deepest admiration. Many time since when out of state I've been called a hick from Iowa, were those fighting words? Not at all, it's a term I wear proudly and honorably. Bless the farmers who work so hard to keep a sometimes ungrateful world fed.
The Ames High Little Cyclone Softball team will Take on the Valley Tigers in a double header match up Wednesday at 5:45 pm on the home town station of the Little Cyclones 1430 KASI! Don't forget you can also pick up the game at 1430kasi.com or on your iHeart App.