Friday, August 12, 2011
Meet Frank Thomas and his gelding, Bill — a pair of business partners here in Washington County. I met them at the Agway when I stopped for grain after having lunch with a friend at the Burger Den. Frank's a retired dairy farmer who still raises sweet corn for income. He used to drive it around in his truck, but decided he was done wasting money on gas. "Too much," he said, shaking his head and explaining the logical reasons for his new vehicle. The horse was not a statement, but a practical way to get to town. He drives Bill the 4 miles into Salem three days a week and sells his corn the old fashioned way, pressing the flesh, parking the draft horse in the shade, and enjoying the people and conversation. "People come to see the rig and Bill, and then they buy the corn," he said to me, beaming. This man had his market figured out. I sure bought some ($4 a baker's dozen, picked this morning), and we had a good talk about our horses. I told him about Jasper and he seemed to light up at the fact he wasn't alone working a cart horse (I felt the same way!) I asked if I could come see his farm sometime, meet his horses, maybe watch him harness and such? He said sure. We parted ways with a hug, and I left grinning. If there is any question the world is changing, there's proof in the streets here.