Where the magic happens

My great grandfather Otis started our farm at the age of 40, in 1869.

“Ottie” was something of a genius. My grandpa told me that the future came to Ottie in dreams. When Ottie took a trip to New York in 1867, he visited Coney Island. There he ate a sausage on a bun, purchased from the first hot-dog cart in America. That night, Ottie had a dream. In the dream, his hot dog was spread with catsup and mustard. As soon as he got home from New York, Ottie bought the land he needed and established our farm.

Ottie originally grew and sold the ingredients for catsup, based on recipes from the 1850s. These agricultural products included onions, allspice, coriander, cloves, cumin, garlic, celery, cinnamon, and ginger. By the time the hot dog was unveiled at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, catsup was present on the condiments table next to the grill, to be spread upon the dog. That catsup was made from our farm’s products.

At the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, French’s bright yellow mustard was introduced, again made with the ingredients from our farm. These included distilled vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spice, and garlic powder. Yes, we had a salt lick in the hills.

In my youth I would wander in the mustard fields and down the endless rows of tomatoes, often eating a hot dog.


For the Thursday Photo Prompt.


“Big storm comin,” I say.

“Don’t git yer hopes up, Pa,” says the wife.

“We’re behind ya, Pop,” say the kids. “Whatever may happen.”

“It’s our last hope,” I say. “The contracts are due this week. I’ve gotta deliver or we’re through.”

“Yer a farmer,” says the wife. “It’s between you and God. I’m praying for ya.”

“We’re praying for ya,” say the kids.

“This drought… this darned drought…,” I say, looking out the window.

Then the storm hit. God Almighty answered our prayers.

I went out to warm up the tractor for the harvest.

Canada’s snow-cone companies were saved.



The science behind eating snow.

Posted for Friday Fictioneers.
Photo: Dale Rogerson

Tax Q&A #157

Q: I hear guys joking around about a man marrying his tractor but I got to wondering whether there might be some tax considerations there. (J. Smith)

A: In this state, the laws are not unfavorable to just such a conjunction, but there are a tangle of rules.

What color is your tractor? If you are white, you cannot marry a black tractor. If you are black, you shouldn’t have a white tractor at all. The case of red and green tractors is being adjudicated.

How is your tractor used? For example, does it plow, till, disk, harrow, and plant? These are righteous uses. Taking the kids to school or catting around town are not.

Where was your tractor made? Tractors made in South Korea or Saudi Arabia are ok. Tractors made in Viet Nam or Iraq are iffy. Tractors made in Russia, China, or Iran may cause the Government to ask you whether you are patriotic or not. You don’t want them asking that.

Do you have more than one tractor? You can only claim one. DO NOT mention the others.

Where does your tractor stay at night? Out in the barn or in your bedroom is ok. It should be home at night and for damn sure it should not be living on another farm.

For comparison purposes: A tractor will save you twice as much as a cow, three times as much as a sheep, and four times as much as a goat.

Hope this helps!