Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Farm Scene

Today's picture shows a farm scene from 1936. The picture was taken in North Carolina. The thing that strikes me about this picture is how independent this man is, compared to our modern lifestyle. Just in the picture, you can see he is milking his cow, his transportation (the horse) is in the stable. You can see a great garden in the foreground, and in the background timber for heating or building. Behind the house you can see a chicken coup. This guy really has a sustainable lifestyle that today is almost completely gone. I would find the life depicted in this picture much superior to the typical lifestyle of our modern world.


  1. My guess is that you more often than not look back romantically upon the past. That view, though,ignores the issues confronting people "back then." Start with disease or for a quick view, life expectancy.

    ps: I am 86

    1. Yes it is easy to idealize a past lifestyle when one hasn't lived it. My parents' generation experienced the Depression and WWII and the more I learn about how they survived and lived my respect for them and their parents grows yet more. There is a lot to be said for self sufficiency and certainly some folks were more proficient at it than others. So they worked to make a world for their children that would not be so harsh and hand-to-mouth. So we are thus blessed, and spoiled and ill prepared for the days to come that lurk on the horizon. There is no perfect scenario.

  2. I don't want to be that "self-sufficient". I'm very happy letting the gas company provide me fuel to heat my home. I'm also happy that Kroger provides me food. etc, etc, etc

  3. Each generation has its own struggles and issues. My parents too lived through the Depression and WW II, and their parents lived through WW I. My mother and her entire family got Spanish Influenza at the end of WW I, and my grandmother nearly died of it. She was always frail afterwards. I'd rather live today, with better medications. My mother had TB in the 1930s, before antibiotics or any other treatment besides rest for the disease. She spent 3 months in the hospital and her family were too poor to afford the rest home the doctors wanted to send her to after that. Even the hospital put the family in debt for years, since they had no health insurance. She spent 3 years at home recovering, bedridden at first, with her brothers carrying her to the privy. This experience interrupted her education, and her health never really recovered. The doctors told her, once she was over it, that she was, in a way, lucky that she was at home, where her family could care for her, rather than in an institution. I'd rather be living today, even with all the additional complexities of our world.

  4. Having lived for two years in rural North Carolina, I suspect that the "garden" in the photo is more likely a field full of tobacco plants. Tobacco was a major cash crop for small farms in North Carolina since before the Revolutionary war. If the family in the photo has a vegetable garden, it's probably much smaller than the field in the photograph.

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful old photos.


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