Still Driving A Combine At 86, Springfield Teacher Proud Of Her Father
Linda Young Messinger
SPRINGFIELD TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) “This wheat harvest is my dad’s 72nd harvest to be driving a combine as he first drove one when he was 14 and he is 86 years old now. His name is John A. Young and he has lived his whole life in Burrton, Kansas which is not far from Wichita in the Southeast part of the state and both my Mom’s and my Dad’s family farms were combined to make one farm when my parents got married, 66 years ago.
“I have been teaching in Springfield for the last 10 years, and when I told my family back in Kansas about the town I would be teaching in, they had to come out and see for themselves…Our family ancestors, great grandparents, back in the days of Jessie James, went out to Kansas over a hundred years ago from Bardstown, Ky. and surrounding areas. They had lost all contact with anyone from back in this area. We went to a family cemetery right up on the Ky line, northern part of Robertson County, that was my Mom’s Murphy family cemetery.
Dad at age 2 (1931)
“My Dad was particularly interested in the tobacco farmers so I took them for a tour and they got to see some of the “smoking barns” with the tobacco hanging inside…they loved the aroma from the barns! Then I took them for a tour of Springfield and they were so impressed with the older stately homes on some of the main streets in town as no one out west ever has lived in any place so stately as some of these beautiful mansions! We saw the Bell Witch program and I’ll admit, I had never heard a thing about ghosts till I moved here! I always send a lot of articles, and pictures of the Springfield farms to my family back in Kansas as they love the rolling countryside and beauty of the South they never knew till I was moved here for a job.
“My Dad still is the head boss of the family farm as he still is the one that decides when to sell the wheat, corn, milo, and the red Angus cattle they raise, over the commodities market he does online now.. My 2 brothers and their full time farm worker, Kyle, each have their specialties, and at 86, Dad still calls the shots! My Dad’s father passed away when my Dad was only 12, and he was an only child, so he pretty much took over at a young age and my 2 brothers and their sons have helped the farm stay in the family all these years.
“He often tells us stories about the “dust bowl’, and a lot of stories about the “west”, but when they came back here to visit me, it was the first time any of my family had been back here to see the beautiful area their ancestors came from…They came back again for Christmas 2 years ago and want to come back again this year, and, I might add, if my Mom is recovered from her heart operation they will. My Dad has been taking care of her too, cooking all the meals, doing the wash, and yes, watering all the flowers around the house since my Mom has been sick…but she is recovering, thanks to Dad’s good care, and she and I are planning on playing a piano-organ duet for church when I go back to Kansas for her 87th birthday in July. Dad always tells everyone he married a younger woman! lol…yes, by 3 months!”