Edgar Green (born 1912, recollections from 1992)

Farm Life

The Appletown house Ed grew up was said to be the oldest in the area, beginning as a log cabin. The stream on the farm was sizable and had fish.

Ed’s granddad Green was temperate in all things. When Ed visited his house, he was made uncomfortable by the fact that his Granddad ate sparsely, then regarded everyone else at the table while they ate. This abstemious grandfather “ate little—-drank little—-chewed little—-smoked little and lived to be 93. Grandad Stone, on the other hand, headed a hearty table and ate generous portions. He was partial to oyster stew at Christmas, ate cherries seed and all and used sausage grease for gravy. He lived to be 85. Ed said he “never saw either one of their faces, both wore beards.”

Grandad Green had a small country store in Appletown for a time. Aunt Bertha Green told the story that, one time, he had set a molasses barrel upside down to drain then started off across the mountain in a buggy. When he remembers that the barrel was draining, he had to turn around a go home to save the molasses. She also remembered that crackers in that day were quite different from now, muck thicker and flakier. Nothing tasted so good as molasses on a cracker.

Granddad Stone sold and repaired organs though he had no formal training for it. The organs he sold were shipped from Chicago by B&O.

Butchering was the most exciting time of the year. My grandfather (E.A. Stone) usually butchered 6 hogs weighing 550 lbs. They had been purchased weighing 10 lbs. Butchering occupied two full days. The first day, the men did the killing and cutting. The second day, the women got busy with preserving. They fried the tenderloin and put it in gallon jars, then poured lard over it to keep it. “Talk about grease —we were swimming in it!” They cleaned the casings. Everybody took fresh sausage home. The men took the hams and shoulders to a cave they had dug a few days earlier. Granddad Green prepared the curing mix of salt, pepper, red pepper and saltpeter. Then, they brought the hams to the smoke house to cure for a few days.

Indoor plumbing was new to a lot of folks in 1926. We never got electric power to the farm until 1929. I can still remember how nice the stable looked and smelled with the old coal oil lantern. In the winter, grandmother said,” Let’s get the work done, when it’s 4:00, it’s night.”

After high school, Ed spent 1930-32 working on the farm. He remembered that the tractors were very loud, with no mufflers. They had no fenders so mud “hit you constantly”. You had nothing but “brute strength and hydraulics”. You had to pull a lever to get the plow up.