The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey by Alan Guebert with Mary Grace Foxwell

The first column I wrote about that
had a personal side to it was a Christmas column in 1993, and it related
the Christmas day and evening, early evening I’d spent with a hired man, the
herdsman, Howard, and the lesson he taught me in that day of not just work,
but that evening of being with him, and for probably less than an hour he had
asked me to come over to his house, they lived on the farm, he and his two
bachelor brothers. Harold was a bachelor, all three of them lived together, and he
had asked me to come over that evening, after milking, because he was alone and I
happened to be alone because my parents were gone with the Bretson family to
some cousins house. So I thought, well I’ll do him a favor and I’ll go over and
I’ll share what he called Christmas cheer, which was homemade wine, which was just awful. I already knew what it was going to taste like. But, it wasn’t…I
wasn’t over there very long and his humility and his humor and his his his
warmth of just having me there taught me a lesson that I have never
forgotten. Here’s a simple man, with a simple desire, in a simple hot…sitting
around a wood stove drinking, you know, homemade wine, and it was his, what he
said was his best Christmas ever. Well, it was pretty much my best Christmas ever up
until that point, too, because I just admired him so much, what he taught me
that day. That was the first column.

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