Living in the country as we did, I only had one friend that lived close by, and he was a mile away. Our parents wouldn’t let us get together over once a week, probably thought we would get into too much trouble if we congregated any more often than that. There was probably some logic there.
One afternoon we were playing in the extreme back of the farm, near our little creek. Suddenly we saw a large turtle crawling back towards the water. This was the biggest turtle we had ever seen, at least two feet across its shell. Soon visions of turtle meat flashed through our heads. We wanted to catch it and bring it home, but we were afraid it would bite us. We were often told when a turtle bites you it won’t let go until sundown, even if you cut off its head, so we didn’t want to pick it up. We both were still pretty small and I’m not sure we could have carried it anyway.
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The only way we could figure out how to get it back to the distant barnyard was to stick a tree limb in its mouth and drag it home. This became quite an ordeal, the turtle would grab the limb and then let go after only going a few yards. Spending most of the afternoon, and only stopping at the blackberry bush for a snack, we finally accomplished our mission.
It was a struggle to lift him into a large fifty-five-gallon barrel we used to cool milk. We were amazed by the fact he was almost as big around as the barrel. The milk would have to find another home.
Running up to tell mom, she said she would fry it for us, but we should leave him in the barrel for about a month so the mud would clear out of his veins, that would make him taste better. It would be a long month, we had to check on him daily to make sure he was doing ok, we didn’t want to miss that turtle dinner.
Finally, the big day arrived, Bill and I watched in anticipation as my dad attempted to deshell him and clean the meat to make it ready for frying. Someone had told us the meat would flop around in the skillet when the turtle was fried. Sure enough it did, some of the meat almost flopped out of the skillet.
We probably should have made soup out of him, the meat was actually tough and not very good, oh well, it was fun and we learned something.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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I grew up in the 50’s on a small dairy farm in southeastern Indiana.
Financially, times were hard, my dad and mom had purchased an extremely impoverished farm when I was three years old. We, along with my brother, who came along later, spent the next several years restoring it to a more productive state. The farm was so over grown with weeds that after living there for a while, dad had time to mow the weeds around the barn and lo and behold! He found a hog house no one knew was there.
The soil was totally depleted, the first year’s twelve acre corn crop yielded a whopping two hundred bushels of corn. Hard to live on that. Fortunately, about that same time, turkey raising came into fashion, the following year dad purchased and raised 1000 turkeys. The resulting turkey by-product increased the corn yield from 200 bushels to 1200 bushels on that very same field.
This was a time when neighbors were neighbors, we used each others farm equipment and tools like they were our own, if dad couldn’t find a tool or wrench, it was probably over at the neighbors. As a result, while picking up one our own tools he would return one of theirs.
Our doors were never locked, no one would break in and steal anything. In fact, if one happened to be away it was desired(it almost became a state law) that the neighbors had to stop by and check the house to make sure everything was OK.
Everyone had a gun, we had several neatly stacked in the corner of the kitchen, an ample supply of ammunition, and fireworks) could be found in the cabinet drawer.
I started hunting with a 22 rifle when I was about 9, a rifle given to me for Christmas by my parents. Did I or any kid I know pick up or use a firearm without permission of their parents, are you kidding? We would have gotten skun alive. Back in those days parental authority and respect meant something, and the only rights a child had were the rights his parents gave him. So, what’s wrong with that?
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