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Old 09-07-2013, 01:00 AM
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Going back in my personal history to beyond my earliest memory, my family was friends with a family of farmers in Winchester, Kansas. When I was old enough they would turn me loose with my BB gun to shoot a sparrows and starlings. Later I updated to a pellet gun, and eventually my 69A. I even tried a little quail hunting, but was handicapped by using a borrowed single shot .410. Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent on that farm

I remembered riding in the car down a gravel road, until it terminated with a left turn. I always knew we were there because directly in front of us was a Quonset style Butler equipment shed. It was an unmistakable landmark, and I looked forward to seeing it. The farmhouse was on the right, and driving up to it would always send chickens scrambling for safety. There were also cattle, milk cows, and hogs on the property. Of course the outbuildings included a barn, another equipment shed, a chicken coop, grain bins, etc. A large propane tank supplied fuel for heating and cooking.

Sadly, when I was about 14 the owner took his life. That ended my visits to the farm. He was like a third grandfather to me, and his death saddened me deeply.

So now, 52 years older and retired, I found myself drawn to that location of happy memories. Thanks to internet mapping and satellite photos I found what I thought could be the location, and today Momma Fuego, the dog and I went on a road trip. I told her that I didn't know what I was trying to accomplish or what we would find, but away we went. According to the map it would be about and hour and a half each way.

It was a beautiful day for a road trip. There is a point where we used to turn off of the highway onto a gravel road, and even from a mile away things started to look familiar. Once we turned off, I was pretty sure we were on the right track.

When I was a kid that gravel road always seemed longer than it should be, and today was no exception. However, we eventually crested a small rise and there was that Butler building in the distance. Amazingly it was still standing, as was the windmill in the field just east of it. The farmhouse was gone as were all the outbuildings and the barn, although a small shed still stood across from the Quonset style shed. The walnut trees which populated the barnyard were in a sad state due to age, disease and weather. Everything was now corn and soybean fields, except for a small grassy patch where the house once stood.

We stopped for a few minutes, but there was no point in getting out of the car, as everything left could be seen from the road. It would have been nice to pull into the drive, past that propane tank, under those big walnut trees, and park next to the farmhouse. Alas 52 years brought about a normal ration of change, and perhaps seeing those changes helped me bring closure to that part of my life.

It's unlikely that I will ever go back. Nevertheless, it was nice to see that the Butler building linchpin of my memories still stood. Something about it was extraordinarily comforting when we crested that rise and first saw it.

Anyway, that's the story of my day trip back 52 years.

Hector

Last edited by HectorFuego; 09-07-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:58 AM
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thanks....

thanks for the ride! Good stuff.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:05 AM
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I too enjoyed your eloquent and descriptive return to some of your roots Hector. It made me recall my own special places, and also the poignant feelings that we can never truly go home. Glad you got your closure.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:28 AM
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Did you check out Winchester gun and rock shop? Dave (proprietor) and his Dad( Lee) are good friends of mine. I try to get back to Winchester every chance I get, got some real bargains there.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:11 AM
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We need to get some younger blood on this forum. Next thing we'll all want to get together for a group hug and sing Kumbaya or something

I really enjoy these stories and as I read it, it took me back to my trips to the other side of the state for pheasant hunts. That farmer has long since passed away also and last I heard, one of his boys are running it. Thanks for the memories.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomasm View Post
Did you check out Winchester gun and rock shop? Dave (proprietor) and his Dad( Lee) are good friends of mine. I try to get back to Winchester every chance I get, got some real bargains there.
Wish I had know about it. If I had, I would have stopped there for sure.

Hector
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:52 AM
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We need to get some younger blood on this forum. Next thing we'll all want to get together for a group hug and sing Kumbaya or something

I really enjoy these stories and as I read it, it took me back to my trips to the other side of the state for pheasant hunts. That farmer has long since passed away also and last I heard, one of his boys are running it. Thanks for the memories.
Hey Papalongdog............ speak for yourself......... I'm a spry 58 years young!!
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:58 AM
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You can't go home again........
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:59 AM
papalondog
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58 Renegade? You're just a kid. I am 59! Hector has us beat I think. I do have a 3 year old black lab that is driving me crazy. I better grab the 20 gauge and go see if we can find a dove. We have an early goose season here to that opens today for four days. I better throw in a couple rounds of heavy shot just in case....
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:28 PM
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Very nice story, made me think of some of the places I went to and some things I did as a kid.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HectorFuego View Post
Wish I had know about it. If I had, I would have stopped there for sure.

Hector


If you didn't know where to look, you wouldn't have found it. It's like a garage building behind the house. They're really friendly guys and good to deal with. I see them often at local gun shows.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for the story. Reminds me of my Grandmothers place. Also gone now but I managed to buy 10 acres of her woods about 25 years ago. Now I go camping on the property when I get the chance and just watch the timber grow. I am also 59. Must be a common age in the Willamette valley?
Forgot to mention that I also still have her model 61 that I hunted with as a kid.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:17 PM
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I left San Diego in Sept of 62 for the army. Went back in 78, but my mom had moved out of the house we had when I left so I didn't go there. Went back in about 2005 to where I used to live and it didn't even seem to be the same building. Wasn't very well kept up and was a whole lot smaller than I remember it being. Took a picture of it, but the house doesn't seem to be the same. Times change, we get older.
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