Thursday, November 20, 2008

Willard Carlos McBride

At some juncture, my father, either before or after his marriage to my mother in 1914acquired a six acre area of land in the town of Pima, Arizona, where he built an eight room house, including an outside porch, screened in. It was a house mostly of brick, but contained some frame work. On this land, he grew alfalfa, some corn or cane at times, had an orchard (apples, plums, apricots, grapes, peaches, etc.), and it was on this area of land that we kept our cows (at least at night and sometimes during the day). He kept about six milk cows, some calves to sell or to use for beef, some hogs, chickens, and other animals.

In addition, he acquired at 15 acre farm some two miles from the house or our home. This we always referred to as "the field." Here he grew more alfalfa (for hay for the cows), wheat, and some barley. It seemed to be the practice, generally, for the families in Pima to live on a small area of land where they had small fields for grazing of cows, and an orchard, and to have a larger farm or "field" a few miles away out of "town." This was the situation, as may be seen with my father and his family. At times we "pastured," the cows in the fields on the six acrea area where our home was located, but much of the time we would drive the cows to pasture on a portion of the 15 acre farm or fireld two miles from home.

My first memory of life, as I recall, is that of sitting on a stool (a short, 2 by 4 inch board, which was nailed at the top of a board about one inch thick and aboaut 10inches square) milking a cow. We always brought the cows from the 15 acre field every night to milk them in the corral (pen). One of the jobs of my brothers and myself was the milking of the cows, feeding the calves (still on milk), letting them suck our fingers to learn what the milk tasted like, after dipping our fingers in the milk. Of course we milked the cows morning and night. After milking the cows, we put the milk through what was called a separator, a machine which separated the milk from the cream, the cream coming out of one spout and the milk, now removed of the cream, coming out of another spout. We saved enough milk before it was separated for our own use in drinking. We fed the milk with the cream removed to the young calves still on milk, and mixed the remainder of the milk with the cream removed with dishwater and other garbage, to feed to the hogs. In addition, we fed the hogs corn, and a weed in the summer, which we called pig weed, a sort of reddish-color weed, which the hogs liked.

I recall how good it was to drink the warm milk from the cows with hot light bread, with honey or preserves (jam). My mother would bake six loaves of bread every day, which we would consume. One must remember that there were nine children at home for a while, plus my mother and my father, my father's three children from his first wife and six children of my mtoher's by him. It seemed that our mainstay was bread and milk. We sold the cream, or most of it.

(Note: this was taken verbatim from the personal history of Willard Carlos McBride.)

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