S: Picking Henberries
BC: Happy Birthday! | With Love, from your family!
FC: Picking Henberries
1: A slightly fictionalized story about Carolyn Ann Kelley Willey, aka, Mom, Grandma, or GG. Lovingly written for her in honor of her birthday, July 24, 2011
2: (top row) Lydia Boughton playing the part of Carolyn, Rich, playing the part of Grandpa Clark, Assorted chickens, playing themselves. (lower row)Assistant Editors: Micah Boughton, Kenny and Wesley Decker. | Thanks to the following who helped make this possible...
3: Picking Henberries
4: Your smile brightens my day | I am a woman on the move! My name is Carolyn Ann, it is a warm summer day in the 1920s. I live on a farm, like most folks-- ours is in southern Iowa, near where my Grandparents and Great-Grandparents also farm. Ahhh, summertime--but no lolling around here! No siree! Living on a farm means there is WORK to do!! | Today is canning day. Mom and Grandmother will work all day, picking, preparing and then canning green beans for the long, cold Iowa winter. I will help pick beans, but then...
5: I'll spend the whole day at my Grandparents' farm, so Grandpa will probably ask me to help him pick henberries. It is the highlight of every trip there! It even makes the long, bumpy ride worthwhile. It's THE BEST: time with GRANDPA and PICKING HENBERRIES! | Of course, first things first! The long, nasty drive from from our farm, through town, then even further. Like all farm roads, ours was dirt, so bump, BUMP, BUMP! Gulp. Hang on tummy!!
6: Whew...we arrived at the farm with my usual "bumpy-road-tummy" but jumping out of the car helped me quickly forget. I hugged Grandma. As promised, I helped Mom and Grandmother pick beans before it got too hot. They scooted off to the kitchen, so to stay out of the way, I moved to the yard where I could do my second favorite thing..DRAW! I picked out a good stick, found a smooth patch of dirt and began my masterpiece... But I secretly was waiting. It must be almost time... WHERE was my Grandfather???
7: Just when I thought he'd NEVER come, I heard steps, I peeked up and it was... | GRANDFATHER! "Come along my dear, YOU know what time | it is...it's time to go pick the HENBERRIES!!" He chuckled as his big hand reached out to take mine.. I dropped my stick and jumped up!
8: Grandpa was my favorite person in the whole world! I knew he loved me so much. He was very gentle... | But most of all, he was HILARIOUS! He made the craziest jokes! He was my one and only henberry partner--this is what I'd been waiting for--Henberry time!
9: A heart full of love | WHAT is a henberry? Well, everyone knows that hens lay EGGS, not berries. BERRIES grow on bushes, not in a hen house. That was OUR special joke, and it was why Grandpa called the eggs, "henberries" It never failed to make ME giggle!
10: YUCK | YUCK | YUCK! | I gathered eggs at my house too --the WORST job in the world--let's just say I "intensely disliked" that task! The hens loved to peck me with their sharp beaks when I would try to gently gather the eggs... | OUCH!! | OUCH! | Tillie the terrible
11: Besides that, the hen house smelled awful, especially on a hot, summer day, it was DIRTY, had tons of bugs, and you had to watch where you stepped--did I say it was my worst job?!! By the time I'd gotten | fresh water and food for all the chickens, filled up my bucket with eggs, I'd have feathers flying everywhere--even up my nose! GROSS!
12: It's different at Grandpa's! Hens aren't smart, but they ALL knew better than to peck Grandfather, or especially not me, or they'd end up as part of a Sunday Fried Chicken Dinner. Nooo, they each seemed to have PERFECT manners!
13: Incredible, that my most-hated chore was so much FUN when it was done with Grandpa! He held the bucket, lifted each bird and I'd reach in to pick up 1,2, or or even 3 beautiful fresh eggs.
14: You can see how carefully I held each little egg! Grandfather would count them and tell me what really gorgeous henberries we'd picked that day. I just giggled!
15: Actually, we'd BOTH giggle as we gently carried all the henberries back to the house! I couldn't wait until the next time, but neither could my Grandfather! | The End
16: A bit of history during the 1920's ~President Herbert Hoover, who was elected in 1928, said, "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." ~It was a decade of change in the US with city folks getting richer and farm folks getting poorer. ~With that economic shift, more families moved to cities and towns--less than 1/2 lived on farms, a first in US history. ~Homes had electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing, BUT not farm homes, which typically had no such "luxuries". ~It took about 13 days to get from New York to California.
17: ~It was called the Roaring 20's, the age of Jazz, with outrageous clothing, dancers referred to as flappers and hot new dances such as The Charleston. ~The first movies, silent and in black and white, became popular and people flocked to see them. Greta Garbo, Charles Chaplin, Rudy Valentino, Mae West, W. C. Fields... ~Radios were to became the center of many family homes and up-to-date news became instantly available to all! ~Population hit 100 million in the USA, ~Unemployment was around 5% ~Life expectancy reached 54 years ~Average income $1200 annually ~Illiteracy hit a new low of 6%
18: More about Carolyn's family... Her farm home had no indoor plumbing. A pump provided water from their well and their "toilet" was an outhouse--a small building near the home. Bathing involved filling a large metal tub with water, heated on the stove in the kitchen. In large families, the bath water was shared with each person taking a turn in the tub! Washing clothing--laundry!--was just as much trouble! Families from neighboring farms got together often for fun: cards, square dancing, games, or to share a special radio program. Carolyn's dad, Nova, owned one of the few radios for miles around so their home became the gathering place. Wednesday evenings several families came to listen to "One Man's Family"--a favorite all over the country. Because radio was expensive to turn on and because programming was limited, it was listened to for only short periods of time. Carolyn's family also had a telephone, something called a "party line" which meant you shared phone privileges with many families. Your call had a specific number of rings to alert you. If you wanted to make a call, you turned a crank on the side which called the "Operator" who would connect you to the number you wanted to reach. Carolyn remembers that calls were not
19: necessarily private--anyone could listen in if they shared that party line! It just was bad manners to SAY anything if you were eavesdropping! She was scolded by her mom when she listened in on others' calls! Farm work was difficult because the farming methods used teams of horses hitched up to plows, wagons and other pieces of equipment--if you worked on a farm, you used LOTS of muscle! The farmer drove the team from a seat right behind the animals. His skill as a farmer could be seen when his crops began to grow--were his rows straight or crooked?!! Even with the inventions of tractors, the farmer must be there 24-7 and his success relied not just on his abilities, but also on the weather. Clothing was mostly made by hand, or with a treadle sewing machine. Most children and adults had very few items of clothing, with perhaps only one pair of shoes. Good clothing was passed down to the next in line--and you took GOOD care of it! Families purchased as little as possible, growing much of their food in their garden and raising livestock for dairy products, meat, eggs and milk. Sweets were a rare treat. Everyone worked hard, but communities were strong and with much interaction. It was quite a time! To quote a favorite aunt, "My how times change!" But people don't and kids are still kids!