This Hilltown Squire Was a Man to Remember

Yesterday at the cafe, I picked up the Recorder and found a lovely tribute written by Gary Sanderson to a ‘hilltown squire’ whom he had the pleasure of spending some time with on a ride over country roads in his pick-up earlier in January. Sanderson thought it was an abandoned house, but low and behold, there was “a gray-haired, coverall-clad man loading cordwood into the bucket in front of his tractor.” They stopped to set a spell, and he writes about how refreshing it was to meet an honest to goodness, hilltown agronomist, who was so real and genuine.

The two talked about family, and the land, and the rolling hills and beautiful back country that drew them here. And they talked about deer, both agreeing that there are no longer the large bucks and plentiful does that once roamed these hills. Then they talked about cordwood, since it was evident that the old gent was in the business. Once, he said, cords went for $15, now he said he has a friend who can’t make a living even selling $200 cords. He thought he could. When he began adding up the cords, concluding that 100 would net him $20,000 and wouldn’t he be set?

The flatlander, Sanderson, threw out that he knew people who were barely making it on the huge sum of $100,000 a year. That shocked the old guy, ‘maybe those people don’t know how to add water to their oatmeal,’ came his ripost. Sanderson admired his salt of the earth demeanor and values, and wrote about how sad it will be when all of these types are gone. I agree.