THE CONCKLIN FARM, Pomona/gunther

April 14, 2024

By Arthur H. Gunther III

     If our lives are just part of the story, with other existence before and more to come after present time, then somewhere, some time, some of us were farmers or perhaps will be. 

     In my own living, there is always deja-vu when passing a barn on a field – hay rounds, front porch, rutted drive, machinery leaning against a fence. In youth in this part of New York State, Rockland County, such a scene was common before post-war growth when suddenly land tilled since the Dutch of the 1600s and before that inhabited by Native Americans quickly sold for $100 an acre, just as quickly plowed for another crop – suburban housing.

     But there are a few farms, barns left, including those of the Concklins and Davies, Van Houtens, etc. 

     There is an instant warm feeling beyond nostalgia in the deja-vu, and while this ignores the hard fact that farming is at least a 12-hour, seven-day tough job with crop, animal, climate and economic worries, it is also the connection to birth and rebirth – animal and crop, the human farm family too.

     So even in the sometime hardscrabble, there is constant reaffirmation of living. A child in late-afternoon sunlight, leaning against the worn, red-coated barn, winter straw popping from the harvested furrows, not a worry in sight. It’s like being tucked in by mom.

     Can’t pass a farm without that thought.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.