About 50-years-ago, when I was an 8-year-old living on the South Side of Chicago, one of my father's coworkers at Time Magazine was telling him how he and his wife longed for a vacation but couldn't take one because lived on a farm.
The farm was located about 30 miles south of the city limits. In those days, the Boomer generation had yet to discover the unlimited plains of the midwest that were just beyond the city boundaries. Farms were abundant, many of them reachable within 30 minutes from your house if you lived close to a city boundary, which we did-20 mins fr Stueben Farm.
My Dad saw this as an opportunity for family entertainment; so off went the Stueben's and in came the Jackson Family- every day at 5:00 a.m., with 5 kids in tow, my Dad brought us.
The experience did not disappoint. Every morning we got to feed the chickens, the horses and the cows - and Jack, the family dog as well. You can imagine how amazing an experience this was to kids who grew up playing ball on concrete, having summer lunches on basketball courts and swimming in community pools. The experience wasn't restricted to a.m.
When my Dad got home from work, we'd go to the Farm just for fun, hanging out with the animals until the sun went down. We developed a particular fondness for Betsy, a sweet cow.
There was a certain sadness when the Stueben's returned, and our family's life on the farm had come to an end. As a thank you, Henry gifted us a freezer of beef to which we responded: Not Betsy!
“Wasn't Betsy but beef never tasted the same after farm life!”
Sis with Betsy
Jane with Betsy, A Sweetheart of A Cow
While babysitting for the Stueben Farm, our favorite friend was Betsy, the most beautiful, loving creature on earth. We'd go visit her for years after babysitting.
Jack and Joe
Jack and Joe - An Inspiring Friendship
Jack, the farm dog, and Joe were best of friends. This was an important lesson to learn during the 1960s, when riots were omnipresent especially on the South Side.
Suzy and Sam
Suzy and Sam were sibs, and the most adorable, loving sibs you've ever witnessed! Unbelievable and they smiled for our cameras!
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This PASHpost story has been shared with John Smith.