Brother David’s fields often stood out from those of neighbors in that his rows were always the straightest, and the tillage was never neglected. He took great pride in being able to lay off rows that looked as if they had been marked with a laser or stretched string guide. I’ve heard other farmers scoff saying that you could get more seed in a crooked row than a straight one, yet I can assure you that deep down inside each of them was green with envy.
Pride in appearance or workmanship seems to be a dying aspect of the American culture. Check out the attire of the average Wal-Martian. Many look like they just finished giving the dog a bath. In the 1960s and ‘70s, patrons of the Navy Exchange/PX or commissary had to wear a shirt with a collar, shorts must be hemmed, and socks must be worn. That was a dress code more stringent than many adhere to in attending church today.
Perhaps it is partially because of my many years in a structured military environment, but I mourn the diminished standards for appearance, dress, behavior, and pride in a job well done so pervasive in today’s society. As I trudge along life’s highway, if I have a “long row to hoe,” I prefer that it be a straight one of which I can be proud when I’m through.
Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to email@example.com.