The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "CALORIES, MEMORIES AND THE NEW YEAR."

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.

I'm a hope'n this weeks column finds ya mighty happy and thankful for all the Christmas go'ns on this past week and also hope'n that you didn't put on too many extra calories. But, if'n ya did-who's to say there's anything wrong with that? Not me anyways, fer eat'n is yet one of several joys worth work'n and live'n for.

It has always been a mystery fer me to hear someone say they don't like work. Eat'n and work goes together, I figures, fer whatever work ya has little means for eat'n and few meals taste quite as good as one right after a hard effort of work.

I'm a guess'n that's why a few of those fellers on permanent welfare are occasionally so owly. Their attitude and muscles has not worked up a good solid appetite, result'n in a good meal not be'n as satisfy'n.

But then, ya see so many folk eat'n at those fast food joints a feast'n on doctored up hamburgers that ya has to wonder if'n they knows what good food tastes like anymore.

The good food I'm a talk'n about is the kind years ago that took time to secure flavor and consequently took time to prepare.

It's not that I don't eat at a fast food establishment from time to time but I relish yet those good ole home prepared meals that Ma Bruke does such an excellent job with.

I've even frequented those commercial chain of those "Hog troughs" where "all you eat" of every kind of is served. They are kinda nice but I have observed a lot of obese folk eat at those places. But, come to think of it there are a lot of obese folk everywhere these days.

If'n ya is a gonna meet needs by eat'n out, Dew's Diner, up north in Smithshire, is as good as it gets. You'll meet a lot of your neighbors eat'n there that you can fellowship with.

I wants to take this opportunity to wish Donald Roche a very Happy 90th Birthday. May his special day be blessed surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I can only imagine all that you've seen and experienced in those 90 years since 1922.

I have a suggestion for you Donald, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and for others who might find the suggestion useful. Grab yourself a tape recorder and let your family interview you as the machine tapes for posterity your thoughts, views, and values. It will be a priceless momentous for generations to come, I assure you.

When I was a young married feller, years ago, with small children in diapers, I did a similar thing. We had a family gather'n in my parents home with great-grandparents on both sides of our family as well as six sets of grandparents and great-uncles and great-aunts, along with uncles and aunts, inlcude'n both sets of parents for both Mrs. Bruke and myself.

One by one I pulled them away from the crowd to an isolated back bedroom and asked lots of questions while the recorder diligently caught their answers. Most of these folks were born before the turn of the century and some by a good many years before.

Some of the questions I asked them were:

I get those tapes out from time to time and listen to them, oft times with tears in my eyes. All that was taped are long gone into eternity now. Gone but not forgotten. And the young'ns today have hear their voices and learn from their experiences.

Oh, and by the way I did not ask the question on inheritance nor would anything like that ever have entered our minds. I only put that question in there to see if'n you were foller'n me closely.

They did leave a wealthy inheritance for me and all of my many siblings (families were larger in those days) but it was not measured in monetary terms or material things. Measure'n those things by todays standard they all would be considered rather poor even though no one thought so at the time.

What they did leave was an appreciation for life and how to get along with other folk, some wisdom, common sense, and good judgment to draw on.

I'll never forget my grandfather firmly state'n "ya needs to be satisfied with your lot"

Even though they had experience losses of homes to chimney fires, loss of loved ones to T.B. and other sickness as well as terrible farm accidents from time to time, they were always "satisfied with their lot".

On those experiences alone I could write a book from those tapes. Their experiences built character for themselves then and do so yet today for any young'n will'n to learn.

So good luck Donald with the tape recorder. With todays technology, cell phone etc. it should be easier than it was years ago, so have at it. You'll be do'n it for your great-grandchildren and beyond.

Regrets and sympathy goes out to "Country Fun" folks for their recent fire. It hurts us all to see the loss of a good restaurant and bowling alley out in the country. I'm sure it will all be missed.

Here's extend'n to everyone a Happy New Year from me, Mrs. Bruke and the boys.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later (next year)

Barnyard Bruke