The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY WE LIVE IN!"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.

I'm a hope'n once again this column finds ya in, "Good Spirits" and move'n along into the week with joy in your hearts.

Ya know, Henry Ford is quoted as say'n, "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right". It brings to mind that group with the Fair Fun Run that felt they could help out the Henderson County Fair Board by do'in their volunteer activity. They thought they could help out financially and they did to the tune of $2,000 for the Henderson County Fair, according to "The Quill".

By all appearances everyone involved had fun by particpate'n. Me and the "boys' lift our hats off to you'ns fer what makes our area "extra special".

Another thing of, "Think'n ya can" involves one of the regular advertisers in this paper, "Dew's Diner", located up north in the big metropolis of Smithshire, Illinois. Read the ad for yourself as it tells the whole story or look on their website ( for weekly updates.

Not only does that family operation, "Think they can", but they are a do'n it. And, their homemade cooking, homemade salads, homemade pies, are yummy, yummy second to none. On top of everything else you'll find a roomful of your hospitable neighbors, far and near. Good ole fashioned ways to spend a mealtime and be lifted up too.

We are blessed in western Illinois with a number of good eat'n establishments and folk with a positive attitude who, "Think they can" and do it. It seems a missed treat not to utilize their services and help to keep our area strong and viable.

Did ya catch Virginia Ross' column, "The 1921 Graphic" in last week's Quill where Stronghurst Township assessed a poll tax of $2.00 on all able bodied men betwixt the ages of 21 and 50. One wonders who determined the definition of able bodied.

The exempt persons from the "poll tax' were paupers, idiots, and lunatics. By the "Great Depression" most folks around these parts would've easily fit in the pauper category whether they cared to admit it or not.

An actual "Farm Income and Expense of the 30's" ledger gives a detailed information reveal'n what live'n was like back then:

Source of Income-----Received Expenditure-Amount

Sale of cream $110.34 Groceries $180.74

Sale of chickens $54.22 Church $8.10

Day labor $105.88 Clothing $86.02

Sale of eggs $142.75 Gas $73.17

Sale of livestock and grain $798.14

Kerosene $5.61

Payments $36.54 Misc. Exp. $106.65

Oil $3.27 Health Bill $13.80

Misc. $18.16

Total Income $1,211.31

Total Expense $1,208.99

Balance $2.32

It is easy to see that if'n the $2.00 poll tax were in affect in Stronghurst Township in the 30's when this ledger was kept, this farmers net income for the year would've been reduced to 32 cents. But then maybe he would've been exempt for any one of the three exempt categories for stay'n in the township.

It does give a person a bit of a picture as to why those who lived through the "Great Depression" were so frugal by the standards of today.

Those fellers who lived through those hard times were the original recycle folk before they had a name fer it. The women folk washed aluminum foil well into the 50's after they cooked in it, and then reused it.

The men folk were satisfied gett'n old shoes fixed rather than buy'n new ones. Some walked barefoot dure'n summer months to save precious shoe leather.

When something was broken they fixed it rather than discard it. When ever possible they made their own needs in the shop and seldom with a complaint.

Those ole fellers developed a lot of wisdom and advice expressed in adages and sayings they passed on to the next generations. Lets see if'n ya recall any of them as I list a few to youn's.

Think on them ole say'ns a spell and see If'n ya can figure the point be'n made. Knowing over 50% qualifies you as an, "Old Timer".

Be careful this upcome'n week put'n on anhydrous ammonia as weather permits and have a pleasant week!

Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya Later
Barnyard Bruke