Friday, August 30, 2013

The Day Dad Brought Home A 'Girlfriend'

At first glance you might wonder who that seductive blond is in this photo of my Dad and his friend, Earl. Closer inspection will reveal the blond is merely a one-dimensional cardboard cutout. Mom had this photo labeled "Lynam, Goldsmith & Girl friend". It is dated September, 1971. By that year Dad had sold his farm equipment and retired on disability. His sense of humor was fading right along with his physical health, so it was good to see him enjoying some high jinks along with an old buddy. Earl and Dad had similar droll senses of humor.

I don't know from where these two liberated Miss Vinton Corn. All I remember was hearing they had swiped her from somewhere - a Vinton Hybrids dealer most likely - possibly Dad's friend, Don Mercer.
What I remember about Dad & Earl's friendship: it dated back at least as far as neighborhood card parties - I remember going to one at the Goldsmith's when I was young. Before moving to the Mercer Center area, they lived a mile west and a mile and 3/4's south of us. Whenever Earl drove past our place he honked their telephone ring. Likewise, Dad honked ours when passing the Goldsmith farm. That was in the days of party lines. If you wanted someone on your line you just cranked their number on the old wall phone. Our number (12F21) ended in two, one, which meant two long rings and one short. You didn't have to see the car going by to know who it was. And they did this even if it was after midnight. In fact, they might start honking their phone numbers a half mile away just to awaken the other one.

By the way - that's the 'north' clothesline I mentioned in the last blog. I tried to find some info about Vinton Hybrids online with little success. Apparently they were sold to McCurdy Seed & Supply Company in Fremont, Iowa a few years after this picture was taken. I did find some kind of court document concerning a corporate income tax assessment. Just reading that makes me realize why forensic accountants are necessary. Vinton Hybrid Seed Company was founded in Vinton, Iowa around 1932. Their logo was two ears of corn in a V formation.

And now a word about that hat Dad is wearing. For some reason (a TV show? a movie?), he decided he wanted an Australian slouch hat, so he took his old brown felt hat and pinned it up on one side. I remember Mom thought it was ridiculous. I also remember buying him a hat like the one above which could be worn with one or both sides snapped up. I don't remember him wearing it very much though. Maybe his enchantment of slouch hats had worn off by then.

My younger brother was still in high school in '71. Maybe he remembers where Miss Vinton Corn came from and what happened to her after the photo shoot, as well as why Dad wanted to wear his hat à la Aussie?

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