Follow Buddy and cousin Mont as they gather beer and pop bottles from the roadway barrow pits. Join him and his friends at the river swimming hole for a swim, or go fishing for carp in the canal. Experience the fun as he tours the countryside in an old Model T Ford with his friends. What better way to spend a relaxing two hours than immersing yourself in these stories?
Buddy is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Sawyer in that he quite often finds himself in hot water. Unlike Tom, Buddy's misdeeds are without forethought. They happen because Buddy is ... well ... he's just Buddy.
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|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)|
About the Author
Will Edwinson is a singer, entrepreneur, and former small grains producer turned writer. His other works include a political tale entitled A Halcyon Revolution. Edwinson lives with his wife in Idaho.
Read an Excerpt
This was Buddy's sixth summer on the planet Earth. The air was cool and crisp in the back bedroom of the converted lumberyard apartment when he awoke that bright May morning in 1941. There was no central heating in the apartment, just a wood/coal range in the kitchen and a large potbellied stove in the living room to provide warmth. It felt good to lie snuggled under the warm covers.
He smelled the aroma of his mother's cooking coming from the kitchen: bacon sizzling in the pan, coffee brewing in the old porcelain coffee pot on the top of the stove, and bread toasting in the oven. He had a hard time deciding which was more alluring, the warm comfort of his bed or the rich aromas from the kitchen. Being a growing boy, however, and in spite of the uncomfortable chill in the air, he finally succumbed to the aromas. Besides, today was the day Daddy promised to take him to the farm, so he had better hustle.
He jumped out of the warmth of his bed, scooped up his clothes, and scurried to his favorite place behind the big black and white, coal-fired range in the kitchen. There, he could bask in its glowing warmth while he dressed himself.
His mother greeted him as he entered the room. "Good morning, Buddy. I was just going to call you. Daddy was wondering if you still wanted to go with him to the farm today."
"Oh yes, Mamma, I sure do."
"Okay then, breakfast is about ready."
Buddy finished dressing, and after washing his hands and face, climbed up to the table where his father had just sat down. His mother placed a plate of steaming eggs and bacon and hot buttered toast with strawberry jelly in front of each of them.
"What are we going to be doing today, Daddy?" Buddy asked his father as they ate their breakfast.
"We'll be breaking out a field of alfalfa, getting it ready to plant to sugar beets."
"Â'Breaking out,' what's that?"
"Plowing it up. It's like when you watch Mom spade the garden. She turns the dirt over with a shovel. That's what we'll be doing with the plow. It turns the soil over and flips the alfalfa underneath so we can plant the beets in the soil that's brought to the top."
"Oh boy, that means I'll get to ride with you on the tractor." Riding on the tractor with his father was one of Buddy's favorite things to do. He loved to listen to the purr of the engine and watch the soil being rolled over by the plow as it was pulled along. He couldn't wait until he was old enough and big enough to drive the tractor all by himself.
As Buddy and his father climbed into the black 1941 Ford pickup to head out to the farm, the sun was ushering in another day. It was shining so brightly that they had to squint as it made its appearance from behind the mountain to the east.
The pickup coughed and sputtered and then rumbled to life under the skilled coaching hand of Mr. Crawford as he gave the truck just enough choke to keep it running. He put the truck into reverse and backed out of the driveway. Buddy watched his father as he pushed the clutch pedal down, pulled the transmission lever into first gear, slowly let the clutch out, and started the truck in motion. Buddy continued to watch as his father shifted through the rest of the gears. Someday he would be big enough to drive, and he wanted to be ready, so he observed everything he could.
The air along the country road was filled with the fresh scent of wild flowers, and the birds were performing their morning chorale as Buddy and his father motored toward the farm.
Willis Crawford and his wife, Tillie, had lived in this peaceful valley most of their lives. Willis had bought 160 acres of his father's farm, and he and Tillie had also opened a cafÃ© in town. He was thinking as he and Buddy were riding along, This drive to the farm isn't really all that bad. Since I sold all the livestock, there isn't that much need to live out here on the farm anymore, and where Tillie is running the cafÃ©, it's much more convenient for us to live in town.
Buddy sat there beside his father, looking out from under the hat that was too big for his head. He had been counting the fence posts as they whizzed by the truck until he became seasick and dizzy trying to keep them in focus. After a while, when he had regained his equilibrium, he turned to his father and said, "Daddy?"
"Do I have to go to school this fall? I'd rather go to the farm with you. When school starts, I won't be able to do that anymore because school and the harvest will be at the same time. And I won't get to go with you on the truck to Utah anymore in the wintertime, either."
"I know, Son, and I'll miss having your company, but school is a very important time in your life. It's part of growing up. Education is part of life's progression. If you remember nothing else I tell you, Son, remember this: a person who is well educated can never be enslaved. So it's very important that you get a good education. I can teach you many things about nature and farming, but that's not enough. You need to learn how to read and write and do arithmetic, and learn about history as well as many other subjects. I think you'll find that school will be fun. All of your friends will be there, you'll get to play some new games, and after you learn to read, you'll find there are interesting stories about all kinds of things. As for coming to the field at harvest time, you can come on Saturdays. I'll also be going into Utah on Saturdays this winter with the big truck. You can go with me then. So you see, taking a little time out of your life to go to school won't be so bad."
"Well, I s'pose not, Daddy, but I'd still rather come to the farm and go with you on the truck to Utah every day. I love it when we get to stay over in the hotel."
Mr. Crawford reached over and lifted the big hat from Buddy's head, tousled his hair, and smiled at him. He cherished these times with his son.
Two of Buddy's top front teeth had succumbed to the demands of growing up. He flashed a toothless grin back at his dad. Then he thought to himself, But I still don't have to like going to school.
They pulled into the field. Mr. Crawford drove the pickup over to the edge where it would be out of the way. As they opened the doors and climbed out, they noticed the morning chill was leaving the air. Mr. Crawford checked over the tractor. He had shown Buddy on earlier trips how to check the oil and water, and he had Buddy do it this morning while he watched. He reminded Buddy again, as he had every time they had started the tractor, "Always check the oil and water before you ever start any engine. It can ruin an engine in only a matter of minutes if it should be low on either water or oil."
"Okay Daddy, I'll always remember."
"Good. Now you go over and stand by the pickup while I see if I can get old Bertha, here, to start."
Bertha was the name a neighbor had given to the tractor because he said it bellowed like one of his milk cows that he had named Bertha. Bertha (the tractor) required hand cranking. Mr. Crawford stuck the crank through the radiator base, locked it into the crankshaft, and began the laborious task of turning the big engine over. One Â… two Â… three Â… four whips of the crank, and the old tractor roared to life.
While the engine was warming up, Buddy followed his father around as he lubricated the plow. Mr. Crawford also checked the implement over to see that it was in good condition for the day's run. When he was satisfied that everything was ready to start the day's work, he said to Buddy, "Come on, Son, let's get started."