Consider the case of the hybrid hog. Dad read a lot and I was raised on the cutting edge of modern scientific agriculture. In 1946 I was exposed to readers of The Prairie Farmer as a grubby five year old with a hybrid piglet on my lap. Piglet couldn't escape because I had my fingers tightly wrapped around its tail.
Prairie Farmer, 1946
By 1945 everyone knew that when two pure-bred strains of corn were cross-bred the resultant offspring would be different from either parent and that, that difference could be corn which yielded more than twice as much grain per acre as either parent. People had written that pigs were like that too and they were right. Hybrid hogs will grow from birth to 200 pounds in 6 months while old-fashioned lard type hogs take almost a year to grow as large. This was a major productivity breakthrough and there was money to be made.
Joy Clearing the Gate, 1962
Money changed things. Until 1947 the only new things I remember were tennis shoes and blue jeans just before school began each fall. One early spring day my classmate and I were astonished to hear a roar on the road outside our one-room school. We jumped up and ran to the window in time to see a huge red machine growling down the road. That evening after school I learned we had witnessed delivery of Dad's new self-propelled Massey Harris Combine. New machines and other booty appeared thereafter from time to time.
Like our new 1949 Ford -- which Dad said would go from zero to 50 miles per hour in just 10 seconds. The day we took delivery of that Ford was the first time (one of only two times ever) I heard Dad swear.
We all climbed into the new car at
the Romey-Hammes Ford Dealership, drove to the first stop
light and sat their waiting for the light to turn green as a
lady backed her Buick into the side of our brand new car. I
believe the expression was "damn it!"
But cars are usually fixable and
that 49 Ford
Newly affluent Howard and Esther
Like the new red and yellow Massey
41 Cat and Massey Harris 44
And the 12 cow "Herringbone Milking
Feeding the Herd, 1963
Unfortunately lots of other farmers
Hind-sight is perfectly clear.
Looking back it
But the fact of the matter is I
came of age as