Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project
The Globe Gazette
Six Macs Buying Their Eighty ----
Six Macs Buying Their Eighty ----
(Lock photo, Kayenay engraving.)
Young Laverne McLaughlin would agree with anyone who observed that there's a lot of hard work connected with buying a
farm and keeping the business in top form, but he has time for both work and play just like the "Jack" in the old adage, so
is never a dull boy. Plenty of play - outside in the woods, inside on his clarinet - and plenty of work - feed the hogs and
cleaning the henhouse - keep him busy. But when the plump black pigs crowd around him, grunting eagerly for a
taste of yellow shelled corn - or when he dons the gold and blue uniform of the Swaledale band - he agrees that life is
Plenty of play - outside in the woods, inside on his clarinet - and plenty of work - feed the hogs and cleaning the henhouse - keep him busy. But when the plump black pigs crowd around him, grunting eagerly for a taste of yellow shelled corn - or when he dons the gold and blue uniform of the Swaledale band - he agrees that life is "pretty swell."
Just as children have furnished parents with inspiration throughout all ages, Laverne's ready smile and helpful hands have done much to encourage and inspire. Mr. and Mrs. McLaughlin, while his conscientious work in the Swaledale 4-H club - which has brought numerous blue ribbons to the McLaughlin mantel - has brought his parents to the conclusion that all their work has really been worthwhile.
Laverne is typical of the hundreds and thousands of ambitious farm boys throughout the nation who have made the 4-H club program what it is today.
He joined when he was 10 years old and is secretary-treasurer of the Swaledale club. This last year he won first prize at the Rockwell hog day, and also won a $5 showmanship prize and $5 toward a trip to Ames as a county delegate to the annual 4-H boys convention and short-course in December. He proudly keeps a clipping from the Globe-Gazette - a picture of himself and other nearby 4-H club winners at the swine club show.
This wasn't the first year that he won prizes - the very first year of his membership he copped first place in the annual colt showings, and his second year got a runnerup ribbon for his baby beef.
Jim is the colt's name. When it was just a year old, Laverne turned cowboy, went out into the field, roped the young Percheron, and broke it to ride all by himself.
Jim is three years old now, and since Lavern raised him a sister has arrived, named June.
Jim is still the only horse on the farm as far as Laverne is concerned, however. Just the other day he hitched him up to a cart and cleaned out the henhouse; the lad likes to hitch him single and go riding.
It's Laverne's job to feed the 25 full-blooded Poland China fall pigs, and because of his successes last year the young stockmen plans to enter 4-H pig competition again this spring.
In the evenings he gets out his silver clarinet - which sister Dorothy also plays - and his twinkling fingers bring forth the strains of some old favorite song - some scales - or perhaps, as in the picture above its intensive drill on Rusticon, the overture by Carl Frangkiser which the Swaledale band will play in the annual music contest this spring.
Laverne has a musical background - the organ beside him is 60 years old, and belonged to Mrs. P. J. Scholl, Mrs. McLaughlin's mother.
Laverne's comment, upon returning from the 4-H convention in Ames in the latter part of December is more typical than anything else of his attitude toward the serious business of farming.
"Some of the fellows just went down for a good time, when they could have been learning a lot about raising baby beef or market pigs and how to make a 4-H club successful," he said. Laverne doesn't get away from home often, and at Ames he got all he could out of the informative discussions by the college specialists. He's looking forward to going back again.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2014
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