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Letter: Harvest nights are a privilege

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I started helping with the harvest when I was 10 years old. Moving trucks around the field, filling combines with fuel, doing what my father told me to do.

We worked very hard. I remember beautiful, dry evenings when we may go until 10 p.m. or later before the dew shut us down. We would have to run the trucks home and under cover in case it rained. Supper was usually cold beans, mom’s potato salad and cold meat from dinner.

It all started over in the morning, with unloading the trucks, fueling all the machines, greasing the combines. Hopefully we were combining before dinner (12 noon). Most days Mom and the sisters would drive out to the field, fully cooked hot meal in tow, and we would eat in the shade of our combines.

I was jealous of the town kids, riding bikes and playing baseball. It really didn’t seem fair. My California cousins always looked tan and happy, it just didn’t seem fair.

I grew up in a house where mom and dad were married for 58 years. I had five siblings and we would often fight, but always had each other’s backs. My community educated us, mentored us, worshipped with us and taught us the value of hard work. How many kids never had the privilege of all these blessings? How many kids grow up in a dangerous neighborhood, with only one parent surrounded by drugs and gangs?

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I never realized how privileged I was and am.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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