Thread: How it was....
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Old February 18, 2002, 11:38 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
Thank you Dave. I really enjoy hearing about the good old days on the Eastern Shore. As a child I often imagined what it would be like, but never got to go.

My grandfather and his two brothers ran the family apple orchard in the mountains south of Charlottesville up until my college years and I had many memorable outdoor experiences, but didn't get to do any goose or duck hunting.

Now you've got me thinking back on how it used to be. Not just the hunting, but the day-to-day things people did to survive. The first thing they taught me was not to climb on the hog pen and fall in. Very dangerous. The second thing was that ammo didn't grow on trees and that I had to learn to make the first shot count.

One day when I was real little my grandmother was frying the squirrels my uncle had bagged and I asked her why she cooked three meals a day on a big wood stove and never used the new-looking electric range in the opposite corner of the kitchen. She smiled and explained all of the benefits of her stove: more cooking space, more oven space, more warming space and, most importantly the ability to precisely control the heat on any surface by how you stoked it. The range was just for canning in the summer when the wood stove would have overheated the kitchen.

What a life - hard work from sunrise to sunset, hoping the spring wouldn't go dry in the summer and you'd have to carry water from the creek, and a new Buick every few years or so. Hey, it was a successful operation - they even pulled out the old generator house and had the power company run lines the 2 miles back to them sometime after WWII. Phones too eventually. For a while they used surplus field telephones to connect the houses in the hollows together.

Another thing I learned - field corn is for draft horses because it doesn't have any flavor at all.

Come to think of it, I don't think I ever ate an apple I picked. The apples on the trees were for selling and the ones on the ground were for eating or canning(or target practice if you didn't get caught.)

Okay, enough rambling for now.

So, how were those canvas waders? Makes me think of the old leaky canvas tents I used as a Boy Scout.

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