Arup N. Garson

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When we moved there it looked as desolate as it does today, only more so. The buildings had not been occupied for several years. Squirrels were running in and out of an upstairs window, and a skunk's den was in the cellar. The fields were scarred with ditches and weeds were flourishing.

We all wished ourselves back to the farm near town. That is, all except dad and mother. To them the drawbacks were just another challenge. We were all put to work, and conquering that farm's resistance to profitable cultivation became an adventure as exciting as breaking a bronco.

Production was the only technical term that dad was acquainted with. And he made the farm produce in spite of ditches, weeds and pests. The word erosion was not in the dictionary-and if it had been he would not have known, because he had no dictionary. But he knew a ditch when he saw it, and we promptly filled it with brush, rocks and dirt until it behaved.

It took patience and hard work. The first two years were a battle between   the farm and dad, and ended in a draw. He had made little headway, but had not gone behind. Still the farm was not under control. It had a provoking tendency to form ditches. The soil did not seem to stay put. During the following two years he had seeded it in, and following a systematic policy of crop rotation, he finally put it into producing shape. From that time on dad was running the farm, instead of the farm running dad.

Dad had the most practical way of controlling the cost of production that I know. He did it by being economical. If costs went beyond profits he knew nobody would be there to make good what he had made bad. He had not learned the art of blaming others for his own mistakes. Hence care was taken that no false moves were made. That care also extended to financial matters. A good credit rating was more desired than luxuries. A charge account was considered an economic sin; a sign of weakness. Spending money was carefully rationed to each member of the family according to their respective needs. I went to a fourth of July celebration with only ten cents in my pocket, and had a good time. Every penny was a full day's work.

Production records were not kept. A cow was sold because she jumped the fence, not because she was below the 350 pound mark in annual butterfat production. But then there was no order against dad's cream check to pay installments to the car dealer, the refrigerator salesman, and a host of others. Therefore it made