Just writing the title above sends me into giggles. I LOVE when these guys get together and I had the lucky privilege of getting to spend most of a day with them June 8th. Dad invited all of his brothers down to East TN for a gathering of sorts and it all culminated at the lovely farm with LOADS of smoked chicken, homemade ice cream and stories upon stories. (I recently posted all my pictures from the farm on Facebook, so I will not inundate this post with them as well, but I do have to share a few.)
My dad (the handsome guy on the very right) was raised a lot of his life by one man, Elmer Green, and grew up with four brothers on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. I have been to that farm, and it was immaculate, as far as I could tell, with loads of acres of land for farming. My dad’s brothers (pictured above from left are Norman and Roy) and he grew up as many boys would on a farm. A bit rough and tough and full of adventures that do not compare to the kinds of adventures I embark on today.
As with any Green Family gathering, the boys told stories upon stories of the growing up days on the farm. This is my favorite part of the gathering, and my brother and I both agree…my Dad cannot talk or even LISTEN to these stories without tears streaming out of his eyes. I think I laughed more at that fact than gathering the hysterical details of the stories. Ben and I sat on the outskirts, while each brother recounted their version of the story that was being told (often all talking at once, laughing, and my dad there crying, unable to retell the story at all). I noted, too, that watching my dad like this makes ME laugh until I cry also. 🙂 It is a lot of sillyness, really.
Stories were told of simple day-to-day ‘survival’ on the farm. For instance, how many times they forgot to set out the ground beef to thaw in the morning, coming in at dinnertime, realizing this fact and then using a saw to cut the ground beef into patties for dinner. I had heard of their survival mode before in a similar manner, when they would buy a gallon of ice cream and split it into fifths, one for each of them.
I did get a new story or two out of the day, however. My uncle Norman recalled eating steak almost all the time growing up. My grandfather used to kill the oldest cow to make the steak on the farm. Every brother agreed that this was the toughest steak ever. They even recounted how going to restaurants when friends would get excited about ordering steak, not a single Green boy would want one (why would any one eat steak, it was so tough?). Until one day, my uncle Jim threw a rock and it hit the back of calf’s leg, breaking it leg and then they had to kill that calf for food. They all agreed that none of them had ever tasted meat so good before, and did not know it could be so tender.
I could recount many more tales, and perhaps I need to do that. Perhaps, someone should. I adore my dad, and as Father’s Day approaches, what a timely post this has become!