Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas ad

When I was an twelve years old, in 1959, I was big for my age. My mother bought me clothes that had ” Husky” on the label. I felt very self-conscious and wished I could be skinny, fit, and muscular like the Charles Atlas ads I saw in the back of every comic book. Once, I cut out the ad filled, in my name and information, and sent it in. In a couple of weeks, I got an envelop with a set of mimeographed pages illustrating a set of exercised to do. I soon lost interest in that effort.

When I tuned thirteen, my parents had the insight to send me to work summers on my uncle’s dairy farm. Daily labor pitching haybales worked much better for becoming fit. I loved the farm, and worked there five summers. By the time I graduated high school, I was slim, trim and muscular. Now I am back to Husky plus!

Atlas course goes bust

Baling hay builds strong muscles

Summers on the farm

Midsummer Rains

Farm - Uncle Fred bailing hay 001

Midsummer Rains   (a Haibun)

During my teens, I worked for five summers on my uncle’s 100-acre Pennsylvania dairy farm. I loved being able to drive the tractors, long before I was old enough to drive a car. In mid-July we would make our second cutting of hay. We always tried to get it dry and into the barn between the midsummer rain showers.

baling hay

On occasion we would be racing across the field making our last round with the baler, watching the thunderheads rising above the mountain. The sprinkles started as we backed the hay wagon onto the barn floor. It wasn’t long until the rain would be drumming on the tin roof of the barn. It was a wonderful sound to hear.

Farmer baling hay

Midsummer rain coming fast

Drumming the tin roof

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Family photos

For our Haikai challenge, Frank Tassone asked us to write about midsummer rains. Older calendars have summer starting in May, so by the end of June it would be mid summer. This took me back a few years to me time on the farm. Rain showers can be good or bad depending the circumstance, as you can see.

Farm - bring in the hay to the barn 001

#Haikai Challenge #39 (6/23/18): midsummer rain (samidare) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Another perspective:

Midsummer rains fall

Bringing farmers liquid gold

Gold in many forms