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Township Roads: It's Eleanor's Fault


Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Sheep grazed the lawn of the White House until well into the FDR administration. I suspect it was Eleanor who decided that it was time to get rid of the livestock. That set a bad precedent for lawns and the mowing that inevitably followed. If sheep still grazed at the White House, we might have a different attitude toward lawn care and possibly even a different attitude toward government.

Never mind the political stuff. Im just mad because my lawnmower is in parts all over the garage floor again. If it isnt one thing, its another. There is nothing wrong with it that two hundred dollars and a dozen trips to the implement dealer wont fix. It should have broken down in December when I had more time to fix it, but that never happens. It always waits until peak mowing season to suffer its cast iron hemorrhages.

It makes me wonder why we bother with lawns. I read somewhere that it has to do with human evolution. Humans evolved wanting a bare space between themselves and the nearest forest. That way, we can see predators coming out of the trees and we can prepare ourselves for dinner, so to speak. Lawns evolved from that desire for open space. Lawnmowers evolved from Eleanor Roosevelts need to be rid of sheep on her lawn. The engineers who designed my lawnmower evolved from hamsters into intellectually challenged mudpuppies who thought it prudent to use flimsy screws to fasten expensive parts.

Maybe it has always been this way. The cattle used to graze almost directly under the windows of the house where I grew up. Many farm homes of that time had fences completely around the farmstead so the livestock could harvest almost all the grass. Mowing time was very limited as there was usually just a small patch immediately around the house to which animals, except for chickens, did not have access. It was a time when Holsteins had priority over the Hondas.

The first lawnmower I can remember on the farm was an old reel type mower with a big Briggs and Stratton engine. It was self-propelled and had a lot of knobs, gears, pulleys and spinning things. It was hard to start and must have weighed a couple hundred pounds. I dont recall how well it mowed, but I know that if you tied some twine string to it, it could pull a wagon around behind it as you mowed. It was a very dangerous machine, but it provided a little fun that way.

My dad moved up to a riding mo .....
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Journal Writing Project: Jamie Rose Howe

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Last night when I was driving home from my graduation party, alone in the dark, I could only see a few hundred feet in front of my car. I couldnt see the turns up ahead, or the hill I have to climb, or the deer, or the large crack in the road. I the ..... 
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Fourth Annual Bluff Country Bird Festival

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Have you ever wished for the excitement of seeing something again for the first time? That's how I feel about the migrating warblers, small colorful songbirds that flit about in the trees eating insects. A friend of mine calls them "flying works of a ..... 
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Another View: Farmers need to be active in 'Wall Street' government

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

In today's economy, farmers need to be involved in two governments: our regular, civic government; and a second "economic or Wall Street" government.

For generations, farmers have looked to the government to help solve their in ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Kyle Anderson

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

By Kyle Anderson  Whatever happened this year,   Is now in the past,   Fond, happy memories,   That hopefully will last.

The su ..... 
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The Commute: Crossing the finishing line

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

At a faculty meeting last week, one of our senior department members announced a small bit of good news regarding the budget. Maybe it was the end-of-semester stress, but for whatever reason, the rest of us responded by applauding him enthusiasticall ..... 
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Township Roads- Tractor Driving Lessons

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I was out having fun with the tractor today. My son, Ted, and I had a load of firewood to throw on the neighbors wagon. The most fun for me is watching Ted start and drive the old Farmall H. We have a driving lesson every time we take it out of the ..... 
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