ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The PO's Last Gasp? Or Is There Hope After All?

Updated on March 19, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin is a true southern male who enjoys writing about the past in his part of the world. I hope you enjoy my Tales of the South.

Source

Seven Years A Grave?

I've been writing on HubPages for almost 7 years now, and it has been quite an experience for me. Some good, some bad, but mostly confusing for an old dirt farmer/ freelance writer. It isn't the same place I first joined, not by a long shot

You should have seen some of the crap HP allowed on here at the time. Indian Auntie hubs—mostly unattractive women in diaphanous garb one wouldn't want to see anyway—and pure spam, some of which received millions of views pretending to be actual complaint departments of well known companies. Yes, we honest authors complained.

Anyhow, I've gone from making dollars a day to now earning pennies. I feel like a ball because I've been bounced from the main HP domain to sub-domains and back to the main domain again. Figure for yourself if they know what they're doing.....I sure as hell don't know and doubt they do either.

HP staff have never been too good at dealing with their writers. I suppose they'll never change until it's too late... like the other now extinct writing sites. Cut me some slack will ya, I'm prohibited from posting in the forums you know. I ask too many hard questions and upset their tea service, I suppose.

At any rate, I felt like a good spring story would possibly raise the hopes of the faithful—and the others of us of a more cynical bent—for the coming year. Yeah right! So, the tale.....

Source

My True Garden Story

I've come to a conclusion concerning gardening. It is an inherited genetic trait. Not that you can't be a good gardener without the gene, it's just harder to not garden if you do have it. I practically grew up in a garden, a vegetable garden for the most part, but my mom made sure there were also some flowers to grace the table with.

Everyone I knew had a vegetable plot of some size or another, even the town folk. Here in southern Georgia not growing your own produce was as unthinkable as not attending church on Sundays. Besides, you had to have something to give the preacher when he came calling, which he did frequently during the two garden seasons we enjoy down here.

Like almost everyone else around here, my parents were farming people, as were their parents, and so on back down the line. Mom and Dad were both born and raised during the Great Depression and knew how times could be tough. They didn't have much money during most of their younger years, but they always had plenty to eat. Perhaps you've heard the song "A Country Boy Will Survive," well everyone ate good out in the country, even in those terrible times

Source

Shortly after my parents married the U.S. became involved in World War II. Despite the fact of my father being in the middle of growing his first tobacco and corn crops, he and two of his brothers were drafted into the army. The younger of my uncles never saw action during his service, the older went to the South Pacific with all of it's many Japanese held islands.

My father , a simple country boy who had never been far from home, was suddenly sent to Fort Benning and from there to Texas for his basic training. "They weren't nothin' to basic training" he would say, "us farm boys was used to following a mule's rear end from dawn to dark and a twenty mile hike weren't anythang." Then he would tell how he and another Georgia farm boy carried this yankee friend of theirs, a city boy, almost half way back to keep him from having to repeat the hike.

Dad, and thousands of other equally disoriented young Americans, were then placed on transport ships to England. He would tell about the nightly bombing raids in London and the people seeking shelter in the subways. He was witness to a V-1 buzz bomb dropping through the clouds and causing devastation to the ancient city. As a young man used to hot sunshine and blue skies, he would say this of England, "I was in England for six weeks and never did see the sun shine.

Source

D-Day was on and my father's company were among a group heading to Normandy for a section designated by the name Omaha beach. I never wanted my father to see "Saving Private Ryan" and he wouldn't anyway. He just wasn't the movie watching type. He went on from Normandy with Patton's army to Paris for the liberation of France. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, entered into Germany, and helped free some of the remaining Jewish prison camps.

What kept my father going through all of this terrible ordeal? This was one of the few questions he would respond to concerning the war. Like many of his fellow warriors, he chose not to talk about some aspects of being a soldier during this war. But when he did respond to the question you knew how serious he was about the ordeal.

His answer was always the same. "Wherever I was at night, foxhole, tent shelter, or curled up beside a stone wall, whether it was raining, snowing, or sleeting I would think about the garden I would have when I got home. I would imagine how warm it would be and how green everything would look, the taste of familiar foods grown by my own hands, and this would help me relax and drift off to sleep."

The horror of the Holocaust camps.
The horror of the Holocaust camps. | Source

He told about having to eat green apples and horse meat when their supplies were cut off and about the struggles of the native population trying to cope themselves. He had to think about something fresh and growing instead of the death and destruction reality offered. I guess you could call it country boy therapy. Whatever, it seemed to work for him.

Dad said sometimes when they were tired and hungry with the snow falling heavily outside the shelter, one of the men would say "hey Georgia boy, tell us some more about your garden." Dad would go into great detail about how good the tomatoes would taste and how mom would fry a chicken better than they had ever tasted. "They didn't seem to understand about turnip greens and boiled peanuts" he said.

"I made my self hungry by describing the food and they were too, but it seemed to make us content for a while and this was the best we could hope for" Dad said. Having grown up in the deep south, he had heard about the "damn yankees" most of his life but he found out they were just people too. He would remain friends with many of his war buddies until he died.

Source

Every year they would have a reunion at one or the other's home town and I had the privilige to meet them and become friends with their children. He was, in many ways, closer to these men than his own brothers. Many would stop on the way to or from Florida and had the chance to eat some of the food Dad had described. Mom couldn't fry the chicken fast enough. I will always cherish those memories.

Well, he finally made it back home and indeed grew fabulous gardens. Some of my very first memories are of being there and helping plant the many vegetables we grew. It was work to me then and I really didn't care for it. My father however, always whistled and hummed as he worked in the garden. But sometimes he would get a faraway look in his eyes for a moment and I knew he was remembering something which happened during the war.

But he wasn't just good at growing garden food, he excelled at any crop he tried to produce. Although he, nor my mother, ever used tobacco in any form, he was famous for his beautiful golden harvest. Whatever you may think of tobacco, it was king then. He and my mom bought a farm and paid for it in two years growing tobacco. This was hard labor people. Tobacco takes most of a year to produce and the process is intricate

Source

Growing up and working on the farm with Dad I learned a lot from him. The older I got the more I appreciated gardening and growing things. In my case it was more exotic plants such as orchids and bonsai trees. I grew vegetables also as you can't buy a decent tomato anymore. But before long it was the whole shebang or nothing. Like my Dad, I needed a little country boy therapy myself and so do most of us.

My dad died while out working in the field one spring evening. He was almost 85 years old and as happy a person as I have ever known. When my mother and I found him lying on the ground beside the tractor, I thought he was asleep. He had been in much pain lately but would never stay inside the house. We knew we would find him dead on the farm someday but this was what he wanted. As he lay there he looked so peaceful and contented.

My father was not a rich man, nor was he famous, but he was loved by everyone. It seemed like he knew everyone in this area. He had given most of the local kids jobs in the summer and they never forgot this when they grew up. They would ask if their own children could learn how to work on Dad's farm like they did. For such a simple man my father had the largest attendance at the wake and funeral than any well-to-do person ever had around here.

Source

Although my father had fine clothes, he wished to be buried in his overalls. I slipped a pair of pliers in the side pocket and a small writing tablet and a two inch long pencil into the bib. A new John Deer cap was placed at his side, (one he had been saving) and he was ready to go. He was a truly religious man and had no doubts as to what lay ahead after death. I think for him heaven would be a garden.

After the funeral and the out of town visitors had left,(many were sons and daughters of former war buddies from all over the U.S.) I hung up my suit and headed out to the garden, only to discover my Mom and brother already there planting potatoes. It was spring and the garden needed planting and certainly dad would approve.

Planting the potatoes and making sure the eyes were pointed up made me think of dad when he would say "don't bend over in the garden granny, you know them tater's got eyes." This line was, of course, purloined by another Georgian, Louis Grizzard, for the title of one of his very funny books. For the most part though, we worked in silence because we were busy thinking about Dad.

Once I thought I heard him humming a tune, like he always did when working in the garden. But then I realized it was just me. I was also thinking about the pleasant look on his face when we found him. I wondered if he was dreaming about gardens. I think I now understand his contentment. It's in the genes I tell you.


What do you think?

Will HubPages survive the latest mismanagement?

See results

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 66 minutes ago from USA

    Getting sick and tired of HP forcing me to sign in twice a day now, so don't expect to see me around much anymore.

    Meanwhile, "A" has clobbered "H" mtd. And "A" doesn't require me to sign in twice a day. So between "A" for earnings check and my decision to ignore HP stats, looks like I am indeed riding into the sunset as far as HP visits go.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 16 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Sometimes you have to "root hawg or die pore," as my grandma used to say. Just let them see you sharpening the machete...

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 17 hours ago from USA

    They will also be made aware of the kind of reviews I can write, .e.g., several at WWNN. And they are already being made aware of my awareness of BBB, RipOffReport, Yelp, etc. And the city business licensing department. I like the sword idea, but it will be a machete I happen to have instead; though I'll have to find the darned thing first.

    Meanwhile, continuing to not care about forums, stats, etc. Amazing. I also gave FB my regards..., latest text post: https://www.facebook.com/websitewithnonamecom-1757...

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 18 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    It helps to carry a large firearm or wear a sword, Para.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 19 hours ago from USA

    Thanks everyone for the contractor info. If anyone has had theft problems or thinks of any particular tricks they commonly pull or of anything else, please also let me know. In addition, trying to think of ways to put the fear of God into them before they begin actual work. Meanwhile, thanks to the advice so far, I got to get some new camera batteries; gonna video tape the whole darn place, plus the photos. I should have done that long ago for insurance purposes anyway. Thanks again.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 20 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Trumpsters are still pushing the Seth Rich story even though Faux News retracted the story for not being "up to their usual standards." LOL! The author himself blew the whistle on the "fake news." Nothing unusual for the entertainment network. This is why Fox News is banned in some places.

    The sad thing is their watchers don't realize it is really an entertainment network and not a news network at all. Hannity? He's an opinion guy, not a journalist at all. Sad but true!

  • SmartAndFun profile image

    SmartAndFun 20 hours ago from Texas

    Yep, photos, photos, photos. Keep a day-by-day diary of everything they tell you they're going to do each day, and what they actually get done. Write down who was there and what they did, and keep notes of what they tell you and who told you what. Also make sure you sign a contract specifying what they're gonna do, and for how much $.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 21 hours ago from Southern Georgia

    Yep, watch 'em like a hawk!

  • Austinstar profile image

    Austinstar 22 hours ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Get 3 bids, not just 1. Call their references first. Don't pay up front. Check with the bbb. Keep records of time worked and who did what. Ask for itemized everything. There are so many unscrupulous contractors out there! Photgraph everything.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 22 hours ago from USA

    Randy, I'm going to be dealing with possibly a bunch of as yet unknown home repair contractors in the near future. Got any personal experience advice you can give me?

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    It's just that time of year. Your topics prosperity time is starting, while mine are ending. Same thing every year at this time. For sanity's sake, I should just ignore my stats from now until sometime after Labor Day weekend. Interestingly, I no longer miss the forums; so maybe my not missing checking my stats might not be that hard either. Nor writing anything until after then, I certainly got enough other things to keep me occupied until after that time.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 2 days ago from Southern Georgia

    Keep a stiff upper lip.. or something! The worst you seem to do the better I seem to do, Para. What's that all about?

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 2 days ago from USA

    Google spastic 3 days in a row now, re: MozCast.

    HP survived previous week, traffic up 5%. WWNN clobbered previous week, traffic down 25%.

    Combined AdSense all over the map.

    The drama. The intrigue. The no paychecks next month, but not a problem; this month's checks will get me through it. Just wish there weren't so many other challenges I'll have to be dealing with soon. All work, no play; tiring, that.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 3 days ago from USA

    Already got one, pretested and everything: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/10/16/08/53/sha...

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 3 days ago from Southern Georgia

    You need to purchase one of my handy-dandy do-it-yourself fallout shelters. We have lay-away plans. :P

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 3 days ago from USA

    Been reading the news. The world is going down in flames anyway. NK is going to EMP blast us within a year, goodbye internet. Too many problems in too many places. It reaches a point where one decides to just not care anymore. One day at a time. Maybe I'll become a hermit in North Dakota, unless we have silos there.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 4 days ago from Southern Georgia

    Writing on the net is a gamble at best.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 4 days ago from USA

    The seasonal thing. Am not surprised. What with my latest WWNN post, I was expecting that site to do better. But I'm probably going to have to wait the usual, standard Google year or two for that to happen. And who knows? Maybe HP CPM will ride in for me and save the day. And "A" is not dead for me yet, still too soon to tell.

  • Randy Godwin profile image
    Author

    Randy Godwin 4 days ago from Southern Georgia

    Don't know what to tell you, Para. Friday was my best day since last fall when the camping season slacked off.

  • paradigmsearch profile image

    Person of Interest 4 days ago from USA

    Zero clicks for Friday. Maybe I'm starting a week early. Starting to get curious about what HP CPM is doing these days, but will stay with "A" until end of month; then we'll decide what to do.

Click to Rate This Article