Anyone who has ever lived on a farm knows that life on one is rigorous. You get up before dawn, start working immediately and, except for a couple of breaks for eating, you don't stop until sometime after sundown. Then you collapse into bed exhausted. You do that seven days a week - dairy cows don't take weekends off. And for all that effort, maybe, just maybe, you'll see a small profit at the end of the year. That's how I remember it.

The whole family pitched in. Some of my earliest recollections are of the milking barn, of the cows, and most especially of their byproducts - the removal and redistribution of which was usually my assignment. Another job of mine was to ride with my brothers into town every morning to deposit bottles of milk at the doors of our customers and to grab the empty bottles for cleaning and reuse. A quart of milk sold for a nickel back then. After milking the cows, cleaning the stalls, eating breakfast and delivering milk, I'd get dropped off at school.

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