Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fred's Place

This found at Fred Farabee's abandoned homestead -- photo of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning used mainly in the South Pacific and Africa during the "good" war--yeah, sure-- (seems that they were not used much in Europe because the pilot could not warm himself with the engine heat as he could with other designs where the engine was directly in front of him to provide a heat source. In the tropics it was so hot in the cockpit,and there was no way to open a window lest airflow be disturbed, that the pilots sometimes wore only shorts, parachutes, and sneakers to fly the missions). Lindberg flew one in the South Pacific as an operational test pilot.
more here

The magazines seemed to go from about early 40's to mid 50's in dates, and then would have numbered over 600 in an old shed and barn.
This time of year is best for perusing abandoned places to avoid the snakes and bugs of summer. It is also easier to spot those well or biffy holes in the ground, always somewhere.

A bean sheller that Fred built and is still operational as near as I could tell, just crank the handle throw in the dried bean pods and it would deliver the beans to a bin below with the shells gone.
This was a poor farm and is still called such by the neighbors who now own it. Freds dad cut railroad ties from white oak trees (Robert ==1865 to 1950) at the turn of the century and Fred would take them 15 miles to Portland, a town on the Missouri river, in horses and wagon, for sale to the railroad. (When I asked neighbors how come Robert was buried some 3 miles away in an unmarked grave I was told "they didn't get along very well"!)

This be the house where Fred and his folks lived their lives. The added-on part is the kitchen ,usually well separated by a wall for cooking in the summer with the hot wood stove. It has a good roof and should last well beyond the 30+ years that it has been alone.
I hope to go back when flowers appear to see what they planted. Usually iris, crocus, and raspberry still come up around the old yards.

There seems to be always something that tells of the spirit and feelings of those gone from these old places. Whether it be an old piano found abandoned or a home-made gravestone for his mother; fabricated by hand, as here. I am told that Fred made a drill bit out of a round file and rigged it to an old tractor-gearing box-- added a handle to raise and lower it and was able to drill holes in this Missouri limestone rock to mark his mother's grave. There was no electric here until my neighbor George Garrett hooked Fred's place up to REA (Rural Electric) in the late 60's so this would have been a hand-operated rig to drill these holes. Fred died in 1977 and was of my grandmother's generation.
I wish I had known him.