Friday, June 3, 2011

1940s 4th Generation

1940s 4th Generation
In last month's blog, I wrote about white settlers pushing the Indians West.  Here is another side by John Wayne in 1971, "Our so-called stealing of the country from the Indians was just a question of survival.  There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians selfishly tried to keep it for themselves."  We will let the Duke have the last word about our Native American Heritage from the Evans side.  Now I will take you back to the 1940s when my parents (Albert and June) started a family by creating me, their first born.

I (Martin Wayne Overhiser 7-11-40) was named after Martin Evans, June's youngest brother.  The Wayne may have been  borrowed from John Wayne because it sounded good.  Yes, good for calling out, "Martin WAYNE you get out of there".   Albert and June rented a house from Ray Adkin across the street from the Bill and Edna's 60 acre farm. That would be the farm Henry settled in 1863 and passed along to William Albert, Bill's dad.  Albert and June were the 4th generation farmers but did not take over the original farm site until after Bill and Edna retired.   My brother Charles Edward was born 14 months later (9-26-41).  June took off 3 years from teaching in one-room schools to train us in potty and other life long skills.  (Note - Brother Allan, 5th generation farmer, arrives in 1960.)

Albert continued to drive truck and helped Bill and Edna with the farming when ever possible.  It was War time, but Albert was rejected because he had double jointed ankles.  He was always proud to show them off.  The ankles never bothered him.  He was always very fit and skilled at baseball in High School.  As an adult he played softball for Casco.  The whole community turned out for games behind Riley's Store.  Some times Riley would show a movie on his north wall after the games.  The Casco team played against all the teams in the area including the famous House of David in Benton Harbor.  The Casco Band (formed in 1928) was also very popular and still performs in parades and concerts today.

When June lined up a teaching job for the fall of 1943 mom and dad bought the 20 acre Blanchard farm and house 1/2 mile east and 1/2 mile north of Bill and Edna.  T. C. Blanchard and family moved closer to Pullman where they owned the hardware store.  By going through Harry Adkin's farm to the south you could connect with the original farm, however, we just did not do that.  Gas was cheap and the dusty gravel road was a much better ride traveling between farms.

Before Chuck and I attended the Iddles one-room school, Mrs. Kuney took care of us boys while June taught.  I started school in 1945 and Chuck in '46.  Mother June was our teacher until we both started attending South Haven in 1953 (MO 8th grade and CO 7th grade).  Mom then taught at McDowell School (53-54) and later joined the South Haven system at Lincoln School.
At The Farm June 2, 2011
Spring 2011 has been very wet and cool.  The fruit blossoms have survived nicely and should produce delicious and juicy fruit July, through October.  Allan is predicting sweet cherries will be ripe by the 4th of July but fruit will be later then last year  

Next year Aaron will be in 9th grade and the quadruples will be in 8th grade at Fennville.  One of the kid's first summer farm chores will be planting pumpkins and squash.  By the end of the summer they may be looking forward to returning to school.