19 February 2010 // 50 years –– out, also on a Friday … the Midwest’s Mid – Winter Friday FARM SALE
I – in his and in my lifetimes – witnessed Willard Albert William Maas cry three times. Of course, there may have been more times; I was present for three.
All of these three times occurred in the same decade ––– the 1960s.
The first time I was already 12 years old. From my recollection Friday, 19 February 1960, was of that particular 1959 – 1960 winter, its coldest day … … at least for most of its waking breadth ~20۫ Fahrenheit below zero.
Fifty years ago today, Daddy and I were alone together and standing on that screen – enclosed east porch’s sturdily gray – painted flooring, not inside the much smaller one of the farmhouse’s southside.
Our gazes went out toward the long, long lane (“16 rods” ’ worth, I had always used to hear said of its length) at where ––– right beside the profoundly gorgeous prominence of the farmstead’s actual entrance … The First Barn ––– an auctioneer around 10 a.m. of the easterly sunshine got underway. Started off this particular Midwestern Friday morning the man did ––– as so many such Fridays had on other farmsteads around the county … already that winter.
In no time at all, it seemed, the evidence was clear: the ‘success’ ––– measured however a deal as this is measured ––– of such a farm sale occurring that Friday beside The First Barn was … not to be.
And the tears in near torrents spilling forth from both medial commissures quietly tracked down both of Willard Maas’ staid cheeks … O – so silently … streaming right on down to that floor’s strong gray gloss.
My gaze, and my head, went down. To that floor’s puddle. I have remembered that morning ––– for, at least, … fifty years.