Ellis County farmers
- In the mid-1950s, I was a grade school child when my parents grew cotton, corn and maise (milo) on the farm. Children and teens were in the fields just like our parents. In fact, St. John School in Ennis would close for a couple of weeks in the fall to allow the children to help their parents gather the crop. Our parents made us cotton ducking sacks sized so that we could pull them along the rows. The water jug was filled from cistern water and wrapped with a burlap bag tied with wire to keep it cool. It was set in the shade of the cotton stalks to keep it cool as well.
In the early 1950s, I would ride that wagon while the mule pulled it along the maise field. Mom and Dad would cut the maise head tops and toss them into the wagon. The mule just stood there until Daddy said 'gitty up' and 'woo'. These commands were not in Czech, I wonder why. The maise field I remember was actually where my husband and I built our home and raised our children.
I also remember when Daddy took off the wagon seat and sat it on the ground. It became a great bouncing seat for a child. I still have our seat and plan to refinish it into the original state.
This same mule entertained us in the winter snows. Daddy would harness up the mule and hook up the flat sled and we would enjoy riding around after a night of snow. This was a real treat.
The mule also helped us plow the garden. I don't remember using the tractor in the garden until sometimes in the 1960s.
And we spoke Czech at home so when we started school, we had to learn English. Our parents taught us to learn the way of our country and unfortunately, many of us have lost the Czech language in three generations. I am so glad we are making an attempt to revive our knowledge of our Czech Heritage.
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