The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in Western Illinois.
We have had us a new week and much to be thankful for.
Crops are mostly planted with much emerged as compared to Ohio and Indiana which had many rain delays.
And those poor fellers down on the lower end of the Mississippi River had the water turned loose on their grow'n crops.
They'll miss out on opportunities for good markets had their crops been let go to maturity and harvest. They all seem to be take'n it stoically, however.
You might ask, "What is a stoic"?
Well, I would say a stoic is a "North Dakota" farmer.
Or, better yet, around here he would be a feller who farms "black sand" without any irrigation.
Those fellers don't always raise a good crop every year. In fact many years they get kicked in the teeth and yet are able to keep on smile'n with what ever snaggle teeth they has left attached to their jaws.
They are good neighbors and without bitterness, able to take life as it comes their way.
But, you ask, what is the definition of a stoic.
Well, I sez, he is a western Illinois farmer right here from Henderson and Hancock Counties.
He knows what it is like to have drought rob him of yields, floods and wet weather hinder his prosperity, suffer the destructive power of tornadoes and high crop damage'n wind, loss of machinery and build'ns to fire, bury loved ones to untimely deaths, and generally suffer affliction.
He gets whacked and moves on. All the while he maintains a good attitude and keeps plugg'n along. He knows he has much to be thankful for and focuses on his many blessings.
Dag blame it, you sez, that might describe a stoic, but what is it?
Stoic is a feller when the markets turn agin him he knows there will always be another crop to sell.
When his fat steer dies just one day before deliver'n to market, he knows there will be more cattle to feed out.
When he loses a rented farm to another neighbor, he takes it in stride and makes due with what he has left and, if anything, he dwells on the important fact he now has more time to spend with his family.
He is more likely to drive a Ford or Chevy rather than a Cadillac, but doesn't begrudge the feller who drives the more expensive model.
A stoic submits without complaint to unavoidable necessity. It goes back to the ancient Greeks whose general philosophy on life was founded by a feller called "Zeno".
Those fellers were generally characterized as calm with austere fortitude.
Some, but not all, of the fellers I knowed from "The Great Depression" were able to survive and move on by keep'n a stoic attitude.
One such feller I knows about from a good friend up north in Henderson County was Glen Rankin. He had him a good farm south of Biggsville, I am told, with a small debt agin it.
The depression hit and he lost all of his land, 240 acres as I recall. Mighty good land it was at that. For only a few hundred dollars of debt he honored his obligation and gave up the land.
My friend asked him once if'n he felt badly about that. His reply was "The debt had just as well been a million dollars, fer after the depression settled in, a dollar wasn't to be had nowheres."
He said, "I owed the money and backed up my word with my land. I honored my word!"
Maintain'n a stoic attitude, he didn't let it get him down, my friend said.
He pieced together a rougher-meaner 160 acres over in Warren County and was satisfied with his lot.
Feed'n cattle and hogs, he raised a son who became an FBI agent and eventually went to work raise'n money for Monmouth College.
Many a feller has benefited from the work his son did for the college. His son's name was Glen also. That son raised a fine family of twin boys who yet are contribute'n to that part of the woods over in Warren County, I am told.
I hear tells, Mike Tierney now has bought that farm and raises yet a fine passel of pasture hogs on it.
Both Glen Rankins have gone onto their just rewards but their legacy remains.
My friend sez, you'd be hard tapped to find finer individuals than those two, in all Western Illinois.
They was, it seems stoics-able to submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity.
Did you know for July 2011 there is an event that happens only once every 823 years?
This year July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays.
Also this year we is gonna experience four unusual dates.
These are 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, and 11/11/11. And, if'n you take the last two digits of the year you was born and add the age you will be this year the result will be 111. For my wager'n friends you might try this on some unsuspect'n soul and thereby possibly teach him the folly of gamblin-the house generally wins!
Our prayers go out to those unfortunate folk in Joplin, MO and elsewhere who lost loved ones and so much property from the tornadoes that mushroomed out of nowhere over the weekend.
I'm a hope'n everyone pauses this weekend from their busy schedules to properly honor what Memorial Day stands for.
We have much to be thankful for!
Keep on Smile'n
Catch Ya Later