Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Non Petrol Culture

Have you ever done an Amish person? They are so much the best, so healthy, back in the day I met a girl who was in the middle of her rumshpringa, it was a time I'll never forget.  She was all about no time like the present!

I remember we would sit up on the crest of this hill that overlooked her six hundred acre farm, drinking cheap beer and having sex in the back seat of my car. She was seventeen and I had just turned eighteen. 

The strange thing was that normally Amish people dress with humility in mind, but because she was doing the rumshpringa, she would buy the craziest loud clothing from Kmart.  She worked out at a Burger King on the interstate during this time of run around.

I would leave and she would walk down this winding road to the families big white clapboard farm house, it had a great front porch on it, I never even thought about going down there with her or even asking to meet her family.

I stopped by their farm when I was in my late 30's to buy a pie, I walked right up onto that great porch, memories bubbling, the place had not changed a bit, I yelled "anybody home" and the screen door swung open and this young girl runs out, wearing a white bonnet and blue romper, she was barefoot, maybe 15 years old, and she looked just like i remembered her mom looking. She took my breath away, I said to her, "you have a beautiful farm", and she looked at me and smiled and "We do, we like it".

I was tempted to ask to talk with her mom, but figured I had gone back into the time tunnel far enough for that day, took my pie and got the heck out of there.

As I turned to walk away, I could have sworn I saw her mom in the window, but who knows, they never use curtains, so it could have been anyone.

I enjoyed every bite of that pie, strange how reality is ok that way.  Petrol culture won't leave you with any memories at all.

Submitted by Carl Cimini

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Farm Truck


Grandpap collected old trucks. He bought or traded just about anything. Pickers knew he had old, rusty vintage relics parked on the farm. Rich kids bought old Chevy panels, or Ford pickups to have restored that they drove off to college. 
The 300 acre farm sat back on a dirt road after the blacktop ran out near Saratoga Springs, New York. I would spend my summers with him and my grandmother. He taught life. He’d say if the nation ever got shut down for one reason or another, he would keep going. Ir was a real place where work never stopped except at bedtime. 
Farm animals, crops, equipment and fences were daily chores. Trading led to collecting, a thread that bound this hamlet community of self-sustaining farmers.  Neighbors pay one another with an old oak farm table, or in well used and darkened  empty French oak wine barrels, or an old ’48 Ford truck. 
My job was to fix the things that he had no time for. Engine repair, furniture rebuilding, fence stringing, and hay stacking were my assignments. The pickers would often come by buying up what we had around. I would fix up the wooden pieces in the barn using shop tools under grandpap’s eye, and the buyers from New York City hauled them back occasionally with an old truck in tow, too. 
Surplus produce was packed and sold to gourmet private chefs cooking for Wall Street tycoons and owner’s of expensive restaurants with pricey wine lists, and white pressed linen tableclothes. The hamlet evolved into an underground cooperative economy, while the junk buyers became food vendors for the farm kitchen bakers of breads, pies, cakes, cheeses, goat milk, beef, lamp, eggs, and more. 
Grandpap bred this farm collective and those who has struggled now prospered. Word spread among strangers who arrived offered to sell their dusty, barn stored discards. I would repair them, which found their way into Manhattan antique shops. This was real. This all had meaning. People helping people. My suburban school life meant less and less. I desired to remain and enroll in the nearby rural high school upon parent approval.  Ninth grade would be a trial run. To live with grandpap and grandma instead of home ran over me like mineral water from a soothing hot springs pool. The farm life of my mother reached into me as it did her. The community’s embrace penetrated deep like blood and veins acting together to feed the heart, and from there, all the organs and cavities reaching into the body’s core. What existed there was unique; antithetical to suburbia. 
To know when something is real is not to be forsaken, or ignored, or dismissed. When it comes to you, at any age, take it in. Hold it tightly with a comforting embrace. 
Living on a cul-de-sac, surrounded by too many similar, although unfamiliar, cul-de-sacs where people rushed everywhere and believing they needed to do so, otherwise precious valuable time, a commodity to many, would be unnecessarily wasted. I had seen both sides at the time. There was a difference. I knew it then, and know it now. 
There I felt and  touched something real. Its smells were real, too. The eyes of a cow, the blades of a bird’s feather, the warmth of an egg, the smell of fresh cut green hay, the taste of new milk. It had meaning. Nothing wasted. Time sacred; never hurried. One could look longer than a gaze, and see without distraction, and watch with clarity, and believe with 
There are many worlds. We can move from one into another. They are all a part of one, but inside there are smaller systems. In that place just outside of Saratoga Springs was a very small world, with individual moons rotating around it maintaining a rotational harmony solid and intact. The world back home was one that felt out of sync, and lacked harmony outside the front door of our home. There was a media pulse driving it forcing it off course and into multiple directions. But, on the farm one felt the anchoring of gravity holding us upon the earth with every step and every breath. (Max. word count 700.)