My name is Earland Brewer. I own a farm in Butlerville. That’s sorta near Stevenson. You’d pass through Butlerville if you was drivin’ from Stevenson to Dankoville.
I met Emma just after I got back from the army. That was during Vietnam. Never saw any action, was mostly stateside, was only in Vietnam for about three days one time, two days another time. That was it. Was on a logisitics team, we were bringin’ in fuel and equipment is all. But I still think about Vietnam a lot. My brother died there. His name was Merle. He was 21.
After Emma and me got married, we had an apartment over a store in Dankoville for a little while. I was doin’ farm work and Emma was workin’ in an office over in Stevenson. We bought this here farm about twenty years ago. Emma kept on doing office work ’til she was 55. Now she does all the paperwork for the farm. Oh man, there is so much paperwork involved in runnin’ a little farm! I was never really any good at it. I’m not too good at anything on that computer, really. Emma don’t mind doin’ it t’all. She used to help me with it some when she was still workin’. Emma says it’s easier doin’ all of it than just some of it. Least ways, it’s all right now instead of bein’ half right. (laughs)
Emma grew up over in Joyce County, on a farm outside o’ Wheatlow. I’m from right here in Strange County. My daddy and uncle had a farm over in Fulton, that’s where I was raised. They sold out to a big combine some years back. My daddy’s passed, both my folks have, but Uncle Hubert lives over at the nursing home in Bartlett County. Still got his wits about him, must be 84. I go over and visit him about once a month and bring him the baseball magazines. Hard to find those magazines these days – everything is online. That nice lady at the bookstore in Dankoville gets them baseball magazines for me.
Emma’s people aren’t around no more. Her sister died from cancer four years ago. That was terrible. She lived over in Joyce County and Emma would have to go over to her a lot. I’d go too sometimes. Joan was her name, she was a nice lady, Emma and Joan were very close. Her parents are both dead. Joan had a son, Thomas. He’s an aborist, that’s a tree expert. He lives in California. Rides a motorcycle. He come over here to the farm on that thing once. Drove his mother over in one o’ those sidecars. Emma went for a ride in it. Me? (laughs) I wouldn’t get in that damn thing, heh. That’s about it for family. Emma’s got an aunt in Pennsylvania come out here twice. Emma visits her every year after harvest.
We never had no kids of our own. When we was young, we didn’t have much. We was scufflin’ just to put food on the table. We didn’t think we could afford no kids. By the time we could, it was almost too late. And by then we was kinda set in our ways. Our lifestyle, I guess. Maybe we missed out, I dunno. But you make your choices, you know?
Maybe I shouldda been a NASCAR driver. Or a plumber. Them plumbers make pretty good dough, I hear.