TOBACCO AND FARM BOYS
While traveling around the beautiful country side last week I noticed the breathtaking golden yellow of the burley tobacco fields. This crop is gorgeous when it is ready for harvest. Postage stamp acres of vivid colors along side the roads.
I come from a rural community where school could not start until after the season. If you tried to get the kids into class any earlier, you were wasting your time. They were needed at home to cut and house the tobacco, which is accomplished typically end of August till mid-September. When I was young, the kids from the farms all participated in the growing and selling of tobacco...(pronounced tobacca)...and the profits! I was astonished to hear that so and so had made a thousand dollars! He was all of 14! It is hard, back breaking, dirty work any age.
Tobacco is not profitable anymore. The government pays the farmers not to grow it! Those postage stamp fields that dot the countryside are smaller and smaller and more spread out. Efforts have been made to introduce replacement crops such as fruits and more vegetables. Wineries have become very vogue in central Kentucky. Can you think of anything better than your own personal winery?
When I see these tobacco fields my thought wander back to those days and those times that included the farm boys of my youth. The old Ford trucks they drove with the rusted out beds and dented sides. Pitch fork and brooms proudly displayed behind the cab in those little holes. White t-shirts and brown skin. The smell of sweat, bourbon and cigarette smoke.
To this day, when I smell bourbon I find it terribly erotic.