When Chores Were Done: Boyhood Stories

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The Midwest in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s was a special place-a place where parents and children worked side by side to eke out a living from the land, and neighbors stuck by each other through good times and bad.

In this affectionate, insightful collection of stories, Jerry Apps takes us to that world. He relives the toughness of farm life-plowing the soil with horses, milking cows by hand, putting in long days with heavy, dangerous machinery. He shows us the lighter side too,...

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Overview

The Midwest in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s was a special place-a place where parents and children worked side by side to eke out a living from the land, and neighbors stuck by each other through good times and bad.

In this affectionate, insightful collection of stories, Jerry Apps takes us to that world. He relives the toughness of farm life-plowing the soil with horses, milking cows by hand, putting in long days with heavy, dangerous machinery. He shows us the lighter side too, as he peddles his father's massive rutabaga harvest and gets to know the neighbor boys-and their personal dictionary of cuss words. We meet Frank, Pinky, and Harry, three farmers whose love of music could transform an entire community; Morty, the odd loner whom only a few wild animals could understand; and Fanny, the extraordinary collie whose role on the farm was as important as that of any human being.

Withing each story we see just how warm, loving, and supremely educational growing up on a farm could be, for it is here that a young child learns not only how to take the head off a chicken and drive a tractor like a grown-up, but to deal with illness, disability, and death. Resonating with poingnancy and humor, When Chores Were Done contains stories you'll want to read over and over again. Jerry Apps is a master storyteller who writes through the eyes of a child and with the wisdom of a man. Through the tales are personal, their lessons are universal.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760325520
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2006
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Apps is a professor emeritus of agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Table of Contents

Dedication v
Acknowledgments ix
Echoes from the Land 1
Winter Delivery 5
Chain O'Lake School 15
Other Learning 23
Party Line 29
Chicken Dance 35
Rainy Day 41
Dietrich 49
Homemade Tractor 55
Barn Cats 63
Music Education 73
Frank, Pinky, and Harry 81
Deer Hunting 87
Storytelling 93
Morty 101
Stormy 107
Uncle Charlie 119
Fanny 127
Coon Hunting 135
Rutabagas 141
Cutting Wood 151
Polio 159
Threshing 171
The Day the Cows Were Sold 181
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