Growing Up on a Farm: Things That Give Moms Gray Hairs


| 4/18/2011 10:15:26 PM


Tags: Roscoe Turner, Growing up on a farm, Playing in the barn, Airplanes,

A photo of MaryGrowing up on the farm, our favorite place to play was in the hay barn.  When our dairy was first started, it was the site of our milking barn also.  The side room was the area where the cows where milked until the 1950’s when Dad built a new milking barn. The barn had a shed added to the side made from boards of Roscoe Turner’s hanger at Gusmus Field on what is now Lewis Street in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Mr. Turner was portrayed in the movie The Young Aviators, a movie about pilots who were flying for the British Air Force during WWI. He flew the plane with the lion on it. If you are visiting the Aeronautics Museum in Washington, D.C., look him up.   Dad used to tell the story of the whipping he got when he climbed into the plane while visiting his Grandpa Gusmus.

family w Roscoe Turners plane 
Family with Roscoe Turner's plane 

  Aunt Mary and Rosemary Gusmus at Roscoe Turners plane 
Aunt Mary and Rosemary Gusmus at Roscoe Turner's plane 

Back to the barn; it had a rail system in the top that was once used for hauling hay into the barn with mules. When the barn was empty we would hang onto the rope and swing from side to side or ride the rope down the rail from front to the back doing our best Johnny Weissmuller imitation.  When the barn was full of hay, we would climb to the top of the stack and open the back door and hang the rope out and play mountain climber down to the ground from about twenty feet up. 

Thinking back now I realize what danger we put ourselves into.  We could have fallen into a crack in the hay and suffocated or slipped off of the rope and fallen onto the rocks below and done some serious damage to ourselves.

 The shed part of the barn was used to keep the new born calves in after we took them away from their Moms after delivery.  One Guernsey became very mean after we took away her calf every year and would stand out side the barn chasing after anyone who came near her calf inside. When she had her calf it meant that we couldn’t play in the barn until she got over the separation.  We would sneak around from the back door of the milk barn through the chicken pen to the back of the barn.  We would hang out the windows teasing her until she’d get so mad that she would buck the barn door.  Well one day she caught us going from the chicken pen to the back door of the milk barn and had us penned up against the wall of the milk barn.  We started screaming until Dad saved us.  He made sure we were okay then he gave us the only whipping we’d ever gotten from him.   Mom gave us so many spankings for things we got into, I don’t remember any of them and the reason why, but I’ll always remember the only whipping Dad gave us. He always told Mom your kids did so and so, give them a spanking. The great old barn doesn’t exist now. The new owner of the farm took a bull dozer to it as it didn’t fit into his plans. The best picture I have of it in the background behind my Dad and cousin Pat.

mary carton
4/20/2011 11:02:47 PM

Dave working as a supervisor in a hospital, that patience comes in handy. Extreme farm sports. We played ball with green walnuts and a stick. We would come in with green spots on our clothes and bruises. We finally were given a bat and ball. We also played dodge ball with walnuts. I can still feel the pain. You're right it's a wonder we survived all of the stuff we got into. Looks like the forums have been discontinued? Thanks Pat. Thanks for visiting Mary


nebraska dave
4/20/2011 9:01:16 AM

Mary, no wonder you have such patience with your hooligans. I have wonderful barn memories as well. Mom would have almost stroked out as well had she known the things that happened in my youth. Cindy another Grit blogger and I had a conversation two years ago that started on the Grit forum newbie page and carried over to the new extreme farm sports page. You might get a laugh or two by reading about our antics as youngsters. How did we ever live through it all. Never once did we wear a seat belt or sit in a car seat. We rode in the back of pickup trucks. We did so many unsafe things that we should never be here now. :0) Newbie thread http://www.grit.com/forums/forum.aspx?boardid=214&g=posts&t=4038 Extreme farm sports http://www.grit.com/forums/forum.aspx?boardid=214&g=posts&t=7358 Have a great day of memories.


cousin pat
4/20/2011 7:56:49 AM

GOOD JOB MARY, I AM PROUD OF YOU AND YOUR WRITING. I AM GLAD WE COULD SHARE THIS AMOUNT OF HISTORY OF THE FAMILY AND ROSCOE TURNER. AT 75 YEARS, ROSCOE'S NAME HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN THE FOREFRONT OF MY MEMORY, AS MY PARENTS MUST HAVE GIVE ME A FIRM IMPRESSION OF ROSCOE AND MY GRANDFATHER.





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