Turns out I've become quaint.

I'm not sure when it happened, or even how it happened. It just did. Somehow, at some point, I looked down and saw my Dad's hands coming out of the sleeves of my shirt. A bit wrinkled, and old stories written in those crevices. And when I talk to my younger friends and co-workers, it seems I've become...


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I'll talk about when, as kids, we'd get five or six of us together and head to Leota on our bikes to play a little 'work-up' at the local ball field on a Sunday afternoon. Quaint.

Or maybe how, at the two-room school I went to through sixth grade, we'd play 'Red Rover, Red Rover'.


And how I'd sit for hours at a card table, all alone, with cards and dice playing Strat-O-Matic baseball, and those cards had names on them like Killebrew, Mantle, Mays, and Koufax.

Yeah, I know, I know, one more time...quaint.

Sometimes I talk on the radio about those growing up years and mentioned that my Dad milked cows. A listener called up and asked what kind of a dairy operation my Dad had.

Well, a small one. A real small one.

Maybe not the world's smallest, but it certainly wasn't a "dairy operation".

You see, he milked eight cows. Now, this was "back in the day" when almost all my friend's Dad's milked maybe fifteen or twenty. As I recall, a big herd would be twenty-five. Now, my Dad was a feed grinder, driving from neighbor to neighbor grinding up their corn and oats and hay into feed and we just lived on a rented 80 acres, so our...uh...herd was a bit smaller. And he milked them in an old dilapidated barn that was this close to falling down. In fact, it finally burned down. No, our "herd" wasn't in it, but that pretty much brought Marv's dairy operation to a close.

And when I mentioned this to a friend, know what he said?

Well, that's quaint.

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.







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