Saturday, December 20, 2003

Where did they go?

A couple months back I had to stop in at one of our local farmer supply stores to pick up some drugs for the dogs. City folks may not have these stores in their neighborhoods but after wandering around in there for the first time in awhile I think a city dud would feel right at home cause it appears that our farm stores have entered a new era. They've become a dog-cat-hamster-hunting-fishin-garden-clothing-auto-candy-toy-appliance farm store.

What happened? Where were the rows of plow points, the tractor seats, fencing materials, and bailing wire? Rows of toys filled the aisles where the 50# bags of any-manner-of-critter food used to be piled head high. Once the only items of attire to be found in there were straw hats and caps, work gloves, and rubber boots. Why they had racks and racks of jeans, shirts, and displays of shiney leather boots. Enough to outfit many a cowboy in quite a fashion. After looking at the price of one of those hats, I don't reckon anyone would be wearing that item while armpit deep in axle grease while fixin a piece of farm equipment.

Another clothing section had any manner of hunting duds a fella would ever need for whatever climate. There was fishing gear, hunting gear, and guns, but I didn't see any of the bins that used to hold roller chains and bearings, and the hundreds of sizes of nuts , bolts, and washers that used to be there. I figured that maybe the turn over for such items as those was so slow that the space was better used to display the singing bass plaques -- an item that no home is complete without!

I could imagine my grandpa weeping at the sight of all this. Is this what farming has come to? You could even buy those citified doggie snacks for crying out loud. To a farm dog, road kill is a snack or scraps dropped from a tailgate lunch in the field.

One whole wall was a handyman's heaven. Shiney new power tools enough to lure a man into believing the "Great Lie": True craftsmanship is only one power tool away! I almost looked around to see if Tim the Tool Time Taylor was standing around dressed in a pair of angel wings.

Rural-everything farm stores are the future I guess, but it sure was weird to see that young farmer at the cash register with disk blades, a box of screws, a bag of golf balls, and a carton of pampers under his arm.

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