Connected Bloodlines

Country Life Revisited: Part 09: Transcription



Gm = Hazel Louise Miller Lowell

Gp = George John Lowell

J = Gerald Ray Lowell

M = Mitchell Scott Block

Gp: That was Flora's farm, or my Aunt's.

J: Oh, this right here.

Gp: That's where I spent two summers during World War I, working on the farm. I was in high school and they let ‘em out early to go out and work on the farms and that's when I decided that I really didn't want to be a farmer.

Gm: George's aunt planted a lot of these trees up here.

Gp: A lot of these trees here I planted, back then.

M: This is the farm where your Grandmother used to come and throw the cats out the door?

Gp: That's the one.

Gm: She’d throw the cats out the door and Jones [Allen B. Jones, Minnie McCartney’s hired hand] would shoot them.

J: We should see if our chokecherry bushes are still there, Grandma.

Gp: You want to go around that way?

J: Yes, let’s just go around that way, real quick like.

Gp: It ain’t much out of your way. Well, then I’ll show you over here...

See now, there’s three ways now that in early days a guy could get a quarter section of land. One was homestead, one could preempt like my Grandfather did, and the third was a tree claim. And this over here to the right was a tree claim. I think you had to plant like 10 acres of trees. And for that you got like a homestead.

Gp: I don’t see any [Still looking for chokecherries].

J: Weren’t they right in here?

Gm: Here they are.

Right along the road. There’s some. Right here are some.

M: These are chokecherries?

J: Yeah.

Gp: That rainbow is still over here.

J: Look at that.

M: Look at that.

J: Well that was so great for you to see that.

Gm: There’s another one over there.

M: It’s getting very light now.

Gm: Look at how vivid these colors are.

J: A complete rainbow, Mitchell. Wow!

Gp: What do they call this now, the Shopping Cart? What is it? Over where all those buildings are.

It’s kind of a…

Gm: Well they got water chutes, all kinds of little cars, and stuff like that.

J: Okay, we’ll make a quick trip by the farm and then we’ll head back home.

Gp: You know that little tin shed that your dad and I built for his tractor and corn picker. The roof's caved in.

Gm: It did?

Gp: Jim quit farming in '68 so that’s 19 years and there's been nothing...

J: Did the renters use the buildings?

Gp: The renters stored grain in there. I don’t know if they still do or not.

Gm: Boy, look at the evergreens.

Gp: To the left here that's soybeans. I don’t know if you ever seen those before.

J: Grandpa, I just noticed, are there lots of potatoes growing around here now?

Gp: Are you sure they’re potatoes?

Gm: I think they’re soybeans. Yeah, these are soybeans here.

J: It was probably soybeans that I was seeing.

Gp: Potatoes grow here, I mean, farmers raise them for their own.

Gm: But they’re not grown commercially.

Gp: They were never a commercial crop.

This wasn’t potato country.

J: I’ve never seen “Hazel” out here [George and Hazel Lowell planted two apple trees near the large stone pile on the cropland that they owned. They called one “George” and one “Hazel.”]

Gm: What?

J: I’ve never seen your tree.

Gm: Boy, was we disappointed. This should have been a good year and it’s only had apples once


Gp: See that big corn crib. Jim dug all those holes by hand for those big electric light poles. And that thing is about 20 feet high.

J: Here was our old entrance here, remember when we used to drive down here.

Gp: Yeah, our driveway was around on the other side.

J: Boy, it looks wet down there.

Gp: Yah, that crib was only 6 feet wide, you could put real wet corn in there.

Gm: Jerry, this is where they were going to have that dump that we fought so hard.

The city of Sioux Falls was going to put their dump there.

Gp: ______’s corn over here looks pretty good.

He’s a young fellar and I would probably judge that he’s probably close to your age, Jerry.

J: Really? You rent to him for your share of the crop?

Gp: No, I rent to him for cash. Mathless, I used to rent for a share of the crop.

Gm: Look at those ears, all dry hanging down there.

Gp: Well, see… hey, your purse is a little…


There, now you can see the rainbow again.

J: It brings back memories.

Gm: Look at that corn.

Gp: We used to have our own little park out there around those buildings. We kept a lawn mower, and we had a picnic table and that shed there we could get right in there if it was rainy.

I don’t know unless you particularly want to, let’s not drive down there.


Gp: Well, there’s two things: the rough road and all of those weeds, you get those damn seeds in your radiato

J: Oh, really?

Gm: Now look at this corn over there, it looks like it’s dry already.

Gp: Well, it is right there.

Gm: The ears look dry.

J: Oh yeah, you can see the dump from here.

Gm: Yeah, that’s Minnehaha County right there.

Gp: See, they wanted to put it right across the road south of our farm.

Yeah, we was really over the barrel, we was paying taxes to build it and support it and paying the lawyer money to fight it.

J: There goes a pheasant across the road. See it Mitchell?

There’s Grandma and Grandpa’s trees right now.

Gm: That big one is George and the little one is Hazel.

J: And here's the creek I used to play in.

Gm: Not a single apple on that!

J: See, Mitchell.

Gp: You kids used to come in there wet from one ear to the other, muddy and dirty, and your Mom never said anything.

J: See the pheasants cross the road.

Gm: Oh yeah, those are babies.

J: Look, now those are much larger than...

M: No, that’s just what we saw.

J: We saw baby pheasants, Grandpa, that’s what they were.

Gp: Oh, I figured that they were most likely to be. See this fence right here close. Now this is a fraction again, like Dorothy owns. From this fence to the corner is still about half a mile.

J: Look at how fast that storm front went through.

What’s going on over here?

Gp: I don’t know.

Gm: I noticed that the last time I was out here.

Gp: They’ve run electricity down there. Looks like they’re building…

Gm: A house, or something in there.

J: Look in front of us.

A family of geese.

M: Those are geese?

Gm: Uh-huh.

J: Oh, maybe they are ducks.

Gp: They’re tame ducks; they’re not wild.

J: Aren’t they cute?

M: Look at all of them.

Gp: I bet they belong to this corner here.

M: Twelve ducks.

Gp: Yeah, this fence.

Gm: Yeah, that whole farm is fenced like that.

Gp: Well you know with us there, the prevailing winds are in the south in the summer especially and if we had had that damn thing [the dump] right across the road...

M: That sure would have reduced the value of that property.

Gp: And look, it’s unsightly too. And they were telling how they would keep it up and all.

J: There’s the farm out there.

M: That’s something my mother would also like to see.

Gm: Look at that, all plowed.

Gp: You know, Gerald, I always, I wouldn’t want this whole fraction, you see they run a mile, but from the east edge of ours coming this way I would like to buy that.

J: Yeah.

Is there any chance that you could get that?

Gp: I don’t know.

Gm: Look at how green his corn is. It must be later.

J: This is sorghum here now.

Gm: No, back there.

J: Oh.

Gp: That rainbow is still over there.

Gm: Boy, the colors are so sharp.

J: They are so intense.

Gp: That’s the best crop I ever saw.

J: Now when do they harvest this, Grandpa?

Gp: Well it depends on what they harvest it for. If they harvest it for silage where they use the stock, they’ll do it pretty soon. If they’re going to harvest it for that grain, that thing that’s on top of there, that’s seeds and it’s valuable too.

J: Now will that dry out like oats? And they harvest it like that?

Gp: Yeah, they’ll let it dry like corn.

Gm: There used to be an old house, or farm, up there where those trees are. I wonder what happened to that house. It was gone before I was ever out here, wasn’t it?

Gp: Now, Gerald, you can go straight ahead or you can go back…

Well, you can hit the pavement..

Gm: Look at the pheasants out there.

Gp: There’s more pheasants this fall.

Gm: My gosh, I haven't seen this many pheasants for a long time.

It was nice weather last winter.

J: Just head north?

Gp: Any way you want.

M: But, not this way [chuckling]. Why you going this way?

J: Look, there’s the old geese. There’s still geese out here, out there amidst the machinery. See the geese?

Gm: Oh yeah.

Gp: Yeah, now those are geese.

J: Are those from Flora? Could those still be left overs from Flora's.

Gp: They could be the ancestors [descendants] of Flora's.

J: They look like the same kind that she had. Big nasty old things.

Gp: Is that barn been resided [referring to the barn on Flora’s property]?

J: It looks like its got aluminum siding on that one side.

Gp: That was a nice barn. My initials are on the feed box in there.

J: Are they?

Gp: Yup.

M: Should we go in and look?

J: Here’s a turkey.

M: Oh yeah.

Gm: My God, look at that.

J: A wild turkey.

Gm: That can’t be a wild one, can it?

Gp: I don’t think they’re wild.

J: Are they being raised domestically?

Gp: By God, it’s about the size of a wild one.

J: It looks like a wild turkey.

Gm: It sure looks like it.

I’ve never heard of a wild turkey around here.

Gp: I mean I wouldn't say never on that because, when I was a kid, if you saw a deer around here they’d have thought something was wrong with ya, but there are lots of them now.

Gm: Look at that.

J: I’ve never ever seen one out here.

Gm: For heaven’s sake, Jerry.

Gp: Now that one’s small, unless it’s a hen turkey.

J: We saw wild turkeys in Pierre when we were out there last week.

Gm: Did yah?

Jerry, our mail box was on this corner down here and we had to go get our mail from there.

J: Down there?

Gm: Yeah.

Gp: Her address used to be Tea, South Dakota.

M: Tea?

Gp: T – E – A. There’s a little town of Tea over there.

There’s a Tea Steakhouse.

Gm: Did you ever see Tea? [inaudible]

Gp: Could be idle acres.

Gp: I should have checked into that … [inaudible]

Enough idle acres to pay the rent.

You want to go in there and tell them that you used to live there when you was a little girl?

That rainbow is still there.

J: It’s amazing how long it’s lasted.

Gm: I'd like to go into that house though.

That house of ours there, where Cliff lives, looks better than I’ve ever seen it look.

J: It does. It looks really kept up.

Gp: This outfit that bought Jack's place, they went bankrupt but I guess Jack is alright ‘cause he only sold 10 acres for the buildings and he got his money for it. But the guy that was doing the farming went bankrupt. He’s still farming and Jack is getting his money.

Gm: Now that house up there isn’t a nice looking house and it’s as old as ours.

Gp: There was one, yah.

Gm: That house was moved in there.

Gp: From that area there where I told you that they had those carts and all that stuff, I had pointed out those buildings over there when we went east by Flora’s house.