S: The Amaizin' Farm
1: Dear Charlie, This is a book about a dream come true. When we met at age 18, you were planning to farm your big family farm. Henry changed that and you started a long period of educating yourself, often dreaming of a big farm ---someday. Along came the boys and the many years of being part of their lives. We still are. You started talking about a small farm---someday. Popcorn growing in a small way, as a hobby, gave you lots of pleasure and a chance to get your hands back in the earth. Bull Hill was a big step forward. Had to have a tractor and then you began in earnest to grow popcorn on top of this large (I thought) piece of land. Finally, the official Amaizin’ Farm was born on 17acres on Zeeb Road in beautiful Webster Township, the new home of Amaizin’ Pop, which we named while flying over some mountains on one of our wonderful journeys during this period. I dedicate this book to you for your vision, determination, hard work, joy in work, love of nature and, most of all, love of family and friends. The farm has become a place of gatherings, a place of wonder as we all watched and learned about those big beautiful Amaizin’ Angus, a place of beauty and contentment. I also dedicate this book to the outstanding young men and women who have worked very hard, learning from you, so many new things. They deserve great credit for the farm as it now stands. We both love them all. And so this book is given to you on the occasion of your 75th birthday. It is the story of the Amaizin Farm. There are so many pictures to choose from to tell the story. I hope what is presented here will make you extremely proud and happy. My abiding love,
2: Bull Hill where the Amaizin' Farm began. First workers were Dave and Eric, and Matt McCormack. | The "little hobby" began and soon there were popcorn pickers. The seed house was the next big step.
3: The first picnic was with the Innis family. Jamie and Megan (and later, David) all became workers on the Amaizin' Farm. What a wonderful family!
4: Tim, Dominic, Jonathon, and Nathaniel Rea, and Nathan Bragg were invaluable in helping Charlie finish the barn. | Tim, the foreman. | Nathan and Dominic pounding away
5: Time for a lunch break. | The Boss! | Lunchtime was always a treat for me as I became acquainted with these fine young men.
6: A very big job! Outstanding workers!
7: Nathan at the wheel of Charlie's truck. | Dominic taking a break. | Nice Norwegian red!
8: Popcorn is not enough. Now we need a COW Barn!
9: We visited Dave Lutchka and met our first calf. He was to become Zoe's first 4-H project and was beloved by all who knew him. She named him Bob. | This was all new to me. I soon discovered why Charlie loves these animals so much. Just look at his face!
10: The big day! Dave Lutchka arrives with 2 cows and their calves. | Zoe, Justin, Jamie and Megan are excited to see what's coming. | This must be Bob and his mother, Jessie. They are so gentle.
11: Are the girls a little surprised by the size of a big cow? Zoe's got her eye on Bob. | Dave giving Zoe instructions on how to start grooming first thing. | Brush and talk to your animal so she will know and trust you.
12: Lisa Lutchka came to teach the girls how to properly shave a cow to make her look her best for the fair. She was amazing in her knowledge and her strength. | "Big Momma" had a very serious infection in her foot. Dr. Kara came out and saved her foot. | Zoe has eyes only for Bob!
13: A momentous event! The first calf born on the Amaizin' Farm! Charlie was joyful, as were all of us. Mother is watching closely. | Very soon, this little guy will be out running around like these calves do. They go through electric fences, too, when they are very small!
14: David gets a surprise lick! | What a gentle touch. | The Bull visits his new son. | Evan and Grandpa searching for a new calf.
15: a quiet moment in the barn with a new mother. Grandpa is pretty proud. "Zoe, why do I love you?" | David learning to lead. | How many times have you washed that cow, Zoe?
16: It's hard work getting ready for the fair. Zoe was a great sport and always pitched in
17: Wash that cow again, Zoe. Alex is on hand to take photos. | Still Working!
18: Zoe's sewing projects earned ribbons and smiles at the 4-H Fair. Job well done. Alex lent moral support and was the photographer of it all.
19: This is a "dream come true" moment. | Grace and Sarah are on hand to share the fun. | One more time
20: Good friend Sarah comes to the fair to watch Zoe show her cow. | David Innis came to show us his medals from the 4-H Fair.
21: Jamie and Megan showing their animals. They logged many hours at the farm, working for Charlie, and training their cows. | Jamie, Zoe and Megan taking a welcome break at the Fair..
22: Dave was a great help at the fairs, showing a talent for large animals as he has with small ones all his life. He kept them watered, fed and bedded. | Zoe's confidence in the ring was due to support from Dad and Grandpa. | Happy faces! a job well done!
23: Baby Evan comes to the Fair. | And here is Zak a couple of years later.
24: Megan and good friend, Janet at their booth at the Fair. | Love and Pride! | Janet worked on the farm and also helped me in my garden.
25: Two queens in one family! The talented and beautiful Innis girls. | Jamie crowned queen of the Chelsea Fair. | Megan , Queen of Dexter Daze and first runner up at the Chelsea Fair
26: Megan, queen of Dexter Daze!
27: HALLOWEEN AT THE FARM.
29: Grandma and Krista on a hayride. | Family and friends loaded up and ready to roll out for a great straw ride with Grandpa on the tractor. | Lining up to hit the pinata. Later on there was a search in the cornfield for ears of colored corn.
30: Alex was the first fortune teller at the farm. She did an amazing job of mystifying the kids with her knowledge of them. | Another year, another straw ride. | Casey shows the kids the hay barn.
31: Megan takes over the fortune teller's job. She sees that Janet has a happy future. | Evan and Casey with funny pumpkin faces.
34: Fourth of July. Here come the fireworks!
36: Wow! This is a big one Eric always puts on an amaizin' show.
37: Thanks for the great show Uncle Eric.
38: The farm is a great place for parties.
39: Mother's Day at the farm.
40: One of Eric's many original cake designs. | "Grandma" attends all social events. | A run through the sprinkler on a hot day is fun!
41: Charlie's 70th birthday party at the farm. Many wonderful people came to wish him many more. | Sarah and Megan Look a-likes | Ken, Julie and boys
44: Grandpa brought hats and sunglasses from Sweden.
45: I loved my Jeep! | Alex and Grandma found a new perspective of the barns. | Swinging and dreaming
46: Quiet times at the farm with Grandpa.
47: Finish up with supper at Metzgers!
48: Welcoming visitors to the farm is always a treat for us. | Alan and Bonnie Templeton | Ron Dechert and baby Sophie.
49: Bobbi and I talk non stop! | Bruce and Ann White | Maggie, Krista and Paul Schaefer | Bill brings the perfect hat!
50: Carol | We especially love having family near. Carol and Keith and Bobbi and Bill.
51: This was Carol's last visit. She really loved the farm and made us all comfortable with her great spirit. We miss her.
52: Jari Stengard visits the Amaizin' Farm all the way from Finland. | Zoe, what the heck is going on here?
53: A great friend and mentor, Jack Schull, visits the farm. This was an especially important event in Charlie's life.
54: Amaizin' Pop opens at Dexter Busch's. Eventually, it was in all 17 stores. Eric and Chris and the boys come along to celebrate.
55: The Innis Family Christmas photo, 2010.
56: Eli Adam | Nathanial and Dominic Rea and Nathan Bragg | David Innis,Kayla and Sean Holsten, Eric Koch | Malaika Whitney | These are some more of the great kids who helped make the dream come true
59: Winter is so beautiful on the farm.
60: Charlie and Danny worked many winter hours restoring this tractor to its original condition.
73: I love it out here!
77: Special thank you to: Alex for her clear thinking in helping me organize the pictures and getting me started. And to Eric for giving of his precious time to help put the pictures on the pages in order, and we hope, to make a story book for your pleasure.