Farm life was a good life
By Clif Knight
The farm I grew up on was five miles from the nearest town and one and one-quarter miles from the nearest paved road and dry goods store. Town folks described us as country hicks who lived on the backside of nowhere but we knew better. We could get to where we wanted to go by walking, hitchhiking or riding in the back of an old pickup truck.
Neither did we suffer the loss of good things to eat by staying home. We enjoyed yummy fruit pies and chocolate filled teacakes on weekdays and layer cakes and fried chicken on Sundays.
Our lifestyle was far from being boring. Fieldwork kept everyone busy during the growing and harvesting seasons and chores had to be done every day. However, there was always some time that could be devoted to yard games, swimming, fishing, hunting and camping.
Going to church and worshiping the Lord, was an important part of our lifestyle. My siblings and me along with our parents were members of Barfield Baptist Church, as were most of our neighbors including my wife Geanell and her family. We participated in a wide range of activities including Bible study and ice cream socials. If anything important happened in the community, we heard about it at church.
The presence of neighbors also added comfort and pleasure to our lifestyle.
Riley Spears and Earl Griffin owned farms adjoining ours. At least five families farmed land adjoining our 50 acres.
Spears and his wife became our closest neighbors when their two sons, both World War II veterans, purchased their 13-acre farm so they could relocate from a more remote mountainside home in the west sector of Clay County. He arrived with a pair of oxen. A wagonload of homemade farm implements and a hog he pastured with the aid of a wooden yoke. We made regular Saturday night visits to his home where we sat on the front porch and listened to the Grand Ole Opry on our Zenith battery radio. Earl Griffin and his wife lived on the north bank of Fox Creek. He used a wooden trough to run spring water from an artesian well into and out of his kitchen.