Thursday, June 13, 2013

Are You Smarter Than a Farmer?

Woodchuck.  Redneck.  Hillbilly.  Hick.  There are lots of disparaging names for people who prefer to live in the mountains or the country.

I once owned a computer business.  Four of us were in our service department.  A customer had just left, a customer that must have greatly annoyed my technician, Ray, because he muttered "friggin' farmer" under his breath.  I looked at him and said "What did you say?"

"He's a friggin' farmer.  He's not too bright."

The other three of us?  Walt was a retired dairy farmer.   Howard grew up dairy farming.  And me, whose grandparents were dairy farmers, and while I admired the lifestyle, I always thought I wasn't smart enough to be a farmer.

Needless to say, Ray was let go not too long afterwards.

Folks who live in the mountains are different from flatlanders.  I first learned this when I sold automobiles in the 1970s.  I almost lost my car salesman job for lack of sales because I couldn't bring myself to lie like some of the other guys.  It paid off in the long run though, as I had many, many more referrals than the others as I got established.  My customers would send their friends and family to me to buy cars and trucks, while the other guys relied on "walk-ins".

I once sold a car to a fella named Harold.  He was trading in a six cylinder, standard shift pickup truck sold to him by a salesman at the dealership named Jimmy.  Jimmy was the kind of salesman who loved to pull customer's legs, or outright lie to sell a car.  He just loved doing it.  It was a sport to him.  When Harold told me that he bought the truck from Jimmy, images of the Lost In Space robot came to mind, arms flailing,  "warning warning warning!"

"I bought that truck from Jimmy", said Harold.

"Um....?" said I.  Warning... warning... warning.

"Yep.  I bought it used.  It was only a few months old.  I got a good deal on it.  Want to know why?"

"Why?".  Warning... warning... warning.

"Because Jimmy had sold it new to a fella that only had one leg, and he had a hard time shifting it and had to trade it back in."

Well, I didn't dispute Harold's story, despite the ridiculousness of it. But I treated him right, doing what I'd said I would do, and when I would do it.  He came back a few months later and bought a van for his daughter.  Harold later bought a bar in Corinth and started referring his customers to me, and those customers started "bird dogging" and sending me customers as well.  See?  You can be honest in the car business.  Especially if you deal with mountain folks.  They value honesty and integrity above all else and will be good customers.

You'll find all kinds of Adirondack Americans here.  Writers, painters, sculptors, professors, and other intellectuals that look to get away.  But you'll also find regular folk, real people who just enjoy nature and solitude.  Those are the people that I really like.  The kind of people that Norman Rockwell would paint.

Bleecker is a very small town, with a population of about 550 people.  While it has a town hall, most town officials work out of their homes or businesses.  Like our town clerk, who runs a general store/town clerk's office out of the left side of her building, and the Sawdust Cafe on the right.  This is her sign.

Adirondack Americans have a sense of humor.

I saw this farm wagon while I was out and about yesterday.  It's a bit premature for us to buy it, seeing as how we don't have any crops.  And even if we did, how many people drive down our road on any given day?  We'd starve due to a lack of traffic.

I also thought you might be interested in this.   The rental Unabomber Cabin has a dug well.  The water is probably fine, but we don't drink it.  We prefer to get our water from this spring down the mountain.  It's been here for many years and many folks get their drinking water from it.  Our water jug needed filling, so I brought it with me while I was off the mountain.  It's just H2O.  No additives.

Yep, this life is certainly different than living in a city or town, and much different than living on a boat.  I like it.  

But I still don't think I'm smart enough to be a farmer.  Even a little farm farmer.  We'll see.


  1. The best water I've ever drank was from a natural spring off of Woodford Mountain in VT-- Pure H2O...

    But back in the days when water wasn't safe to drink when you didn't live in the mountains-- Watch the Documentary called " How Beer Saved The World " After you watch it you'll understand how beer really did save the world...

  2. While I and Mr. Rayberry where visiting the other day discussing The Navi Nut Prospects (Patent Pending) I noticed some Marrow bones for your doggies in the driveway, I mentioned about how I repack Morrow bones for our doggies.... Mr. Rayberry has gone home to think about the large investment needed for repurposing the Navi Nut (Pat Pending)... Here is the recipe I used today,

    Whatever you think your dogs like and let it Marinate for a few hours in water so it turns to mush and pack marrow bones with it-- Then freeze over night.... I know the bones I pack and freeze keep our doggies busy for hours-- I just packed about 20Lbs. of them...