Autobiography - The Sale
[Back Story: When the price of commodities collapsed in the early '80s, the farm became insolvent. The bank called in the loans.]

In high school, my best friend and I started laughing at our classmate's funeral. As the service got sadder, we laughed harder. I was giddy like this at my sale.

It was held on a March day in 1983. Snow fell in the morning. Farmers, neighbors, and curiosity seekers filled the farmyard. Their cars and trucks were parked clear to the end of my quarter-mile driveway and then way up the road. They eyed the machinery and hog feeders, the stock tanks and the solid oak gates. Some prowled about. They had heard that young people were living in barns down on the Peterson farm and a lot of the young people were women, they were sure.

The snow melted and the auctioneer chanted. By late afternoon, the farmers were making deep ruts in the thawing earth as they hooked on to the planter and disc and plows and towed them down the long driveway to their new homes. A burly farmer roared off in my beautiful grain truck with black and white checks on its side. He didn't know that I had hidden a little plastic angel under the seat, which I would look for years later when he had his sale.

Taggart Siegel found a perfect arrowhead in the woods on the farm the day I stunned him with word of the farm's demise. He documented the auction in Bitter Harvest, and Bitter Harvest was scattered by satellite to the four soft corners of America.

The dispersal of my assets was relentless. It left me with 20 acres of the 186-acre family farm. The cattle and hogs were gone. The rooster had died. Friends and artists and visionaries scattered in anger and fear. Primitive tribes have leaders, said Freud, so there is someone to crucify when the rains don't come.
[End of Excerpt]

Friends and artists and visionaries scattered in anger and fear.

>>>To continue reading -- The Dead Farm

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