Our First Government Hand-Outs

It’s rather amusing, after years of cussing the Democrats out for inventing a farm program, the Republicans have come up with a much more liberal one. History has proven that a farm program is necessary in times of stress. Surplus is still surplus, no matter who is running the country in Washington, [DC].

What did some of us farmers do with our first government hand-outs of long ago? Most of the allotment money went to protecting our farms with an appeasement payment. What dough was left, and with the magic of Sears catalog, a few mothers received washing machines. Those miracle wash-day marvels came equipped with built in gasoline motors and all necessary manual controls, including motorcycle-type starting pedals. It made the farmers' wives very happy. 

I remembered very well the first allotment checks that were handed out in front of an old vacant bank in Davenport. We were all happy, and looking like vultures, as we waited for the bank door to open so we could grab our agriculture checks. But we were not as happy as old Gottlieb Reinbold, a friendly, dedicated husband and the father of many children. 

That day, to Mr. Reinbold, the world seemed to look a little rosier than usual. The government subsidy check gave him hope of survival. The smoke from his ever present cigar seemed to have a more cheerful whirl. Upon cashing his allotment check, he went next door, and paid a long standing hardware debt. When I left him, he was wishing he could afford a second hand Holt combine. 

It was the last time I ever heard his rather loud voice and rolling laughter. That evening, Gottlieb never made it back to his farm and family. On his way home, a highway accident took his life.

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