Thursday, April 5, 2018

City Folks

In 1929, my twenty-two-year-old Dad sat on Joe Howard's farm house porch in Harlan County, Nebraska, with a half-dozen neighbors shucking corn. Joe turned to a neighbor. "I know its a bumper crop, but how we going to get it from here to Omaha?"
"Beats me, Joe. Didn't you take it last year?"
"I did." Husks rattled as Joe tore them off. "But I can't spare the time this year. Get up before dawn, drive until dusk, get to that burg at night, city folks crawling all around. Take a hotel for safety, get up before dawn, drive until dusk." 
Dad tilted his head to one side. "Did you see city folks everywhere you looked?"
"Ain't you ever been to Omaha?" Joe's face lit up. 
Dad shook his head and grabbed another ear of corn.
"Tell you what," Joe said, "I'll loan you my truck if you haul this corn to Omaha for us."
Dad beamed, grabbed Joe's hand and shook it.
He didn't know it, of course, but that hand shake took Dad one move closer to squaring off with Jimmy Hoffa.

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