This week we bring you this classic G. George Ostrom column he selected from 1971...
What do you know? Time to begin the ninth year of the Hog Heaven chronicler. A chronicler is one who chronicles chronically.
What to write about is always a problem.
One of the biggest events of 1970 to me was 23-year-old Don Snyder breaker the world’s distance record for spitting tobacco. Don lost out in the accuracy competition when the cuspidor was moved to 15 feet, but in the distance events he hit 25 feet, 10 inches, which beat the standing world record of 13 years by almost a foot.
For this interested in this fine old American sport, the world championship for spittin’ tobacco juice is held every August at Billy John Crumpton’s pond, five miles west of Raleigh, Mississippi.
Another outstanding event of 1970 was a new farm subsidy bill introduced in the Congress to limit the amount any one farmer can be paid on a single crop to $55,000.
This bill will probably pass in the new Congress (there are farmers who are now paid over four million dollars a year for not growing something). Anyway, under the new bill, it looks to me like there will be all kinds of trouble.
Take for instance a feller who currently is getting $165,000 for not raising cotton. He is going to have to take and not raise cotton on two-thirds of his land and decided not to raise on those other two-thirds. He’ll probably have to get the county agent to help him run soil tests and all like that to see whether he shouldn’t raise wheat, barley, tobacco or corn or what. Just the challenge of the whole thing is exciting and stimulating.
Personally, I feel left out and am now working on a plan to subsidize not raising dandelions. With the big movement to “natural foods” gaining momentum, dandelions could easily become a glut on the market and there is NOBODY in our block who raises more dandelions than the Ostroms.
Another event that made me feel good was a study conducted at a Boston hospital which showed that men who sleep nine hours or more per day tend to be introverted and passive but those who slept six hours of less tend to be more efficient and ambitious. I used to get by well on five hours, but have recently been needing five and a half to six hours per night. I feel that if I could get a one hour nap during the day, I could cut the night to four, but that darn report didn’t say how those two types of men made out in their life-span departments.
Since I took my first two courses in psychology at that big school in Missoula, I just knew most head shrinkers were a little squirrelly.
Now a 1970 research program shows the couch crowd has almost doubled the rate who go ding-a-ling when compared to other fields of medical specialists.
Some of my most interesting friends are a bit looney, so I have no grudges against the psych boys, it’s just that I’d like to see them realistically face their problems.
1970 also saw my first wife, Iris Ann, get an A in English Literature at FVCC, Wendy win the underwater race for 7 year olds (swims just like ‘er old man), my oldest boy climb Mt. Reynolds, and the youngest son, Clark, lost his first tooth. Heidi Ann won the family prize for conning Pa out of money, and I gained $438.67 on the mortgage.
Best wishes for the new year from the Ostroms!