I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. We were Massachusetts transplants, and my father viewed the family’s move north as his opportunity to transform from city guy to gentleman farmer. So, we went native. We got animals—horses, cattle and turkeys—along with the requisite farm equipment. And having all these farm resources meant that we, or actually my mother, had to go to the local seed and feed store to buy the stuff that kept the Carney farm operating—grain, tractor parts and pitchforks—all of which was no doubt pretty foreign to a woman who grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Even though it was nearly 40 years ago, I won’t forget the first visit to the feed store.
“Hap,” the feed storeowner, was one of those craggy New Hampshire characters who, while spare in the number of words spoken, never failed to get the point across. Somewhat ironically, he had a son who was an aspiring artist, and in the middle of a field out back of the feed business, there was a wooden structure. It wasn’t a building or a sign; in fact, it seemed to have no purpose at all.
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