thoughts on 99 and more...
R came to the Farm when she was around 18 years old--which means she has lived here for over 80 years of her life!!--at a time when the Farm worked under a very different system. Today the Farm's major focus in therapy is the mental health aspect (meaning healing through therapy, paired with work), but when the Farm was created it used more of a therapy through work approach. And unlike today, the lines between jobs and roles was skewed, meaning everyone helped out with everything to make sure it got done. Anyway, R occasionally will talk about the old days here at the Farm and share some of her memories, so in honor of R, I would like to share some things I learned about/from her:
1. A lot of the daffodils around the Farm (and particularily my house) were planted by her. She would walk around and plant at will.
2. The Kitchen for the whole Farm (then a smaller community) used to be in what is now our small TV room). The kitchen we use now is about 4 times the size.
3. One of the heirs of the Goodyear Family (tires) worked here. R told me that the way that Charles Goodyear created rubber for tires (from the story that his heir told her) is that he was playing around with different chemicals and raw rubber and exploded a batch. The result was a black piece which he set aside (and then later came back to as it was smooth and a strong rubber product). I read a bit into the history on the Goodyear website...Goodyear mixed raw rubber with nitric acid for the end result.
4. At one point R lived in my house, which is one of the oldest buildings on the Farm. I love that fact--so cool!
5. During sapping season R used to stay up all night in the Sugar House and boil sap and then go into the Kitchen and help make breakfast. THAT is DEDICATION!
Can you imagine seeing almost a century?
My friend Nathaniel and I were talking about everything that R has seen in her lifetime, and we came up with:
- Eighteen Presidents
27. William Howard Taft
28. Woodrow Wilson
29. Warren Harding
30. Calvin Coolidge
31. Herbert Hoover
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt
33. Harry S Truman
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower
35. John F. Kennedy
36. Lyndon Johnson
37. Richard Nixon
38. Gerald Ford
39. James Carter
40. Ronald Reagan
41. George H. W. Bush
42. William J. Clinton
43. George W. Bush
44. Barack H. Obama
- The age of transportation: going from horses to cars, planes, aerospace travel
- Technology: the growth in the computer industry
- Two world wars
- Divided Germany, the Berlin Wall (and it's collapse)
- The Cold War
R has definitely seen a lot. She is a tough bird and I am so glad that she is part of this community.
HAPPY 99th BIRTHDAY R!!