Between the Bookends: Corn Husking Contests, Route 66, Christmas Remembered and more
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The book does an astonishing job of capturing the look and feel of an era, from the chamber of commerce “Hi-how-are-you” to the cool glow of neon on a summer night. There’s just one word for Greetings from Route 66: fun!
Greetings from Route 66: The Ultimate Road Trip Back Through Time Along America’s Main Street, hard cover, color illustrations, Voyageur Press, $30, available through Farm Collector Books.
The focus of Ben Logan’s Christmas Remembered is the holiday and memorable family occasions surrounding it. But nearly all of the essays in this book center on life on a remote Wisconsin farm in the 1930s.
Don’t judge a book by its cover: The sweet illustration of Santa in toyland seems an odd choice for this text, which is a poignant recollection of farm life seen through a boy’s eyes. Nestled quietly behind holiday recollections are memories of doing chores in a blizzard, the role of the rural school in a remote community, looking out for neighbors and war-time holidays spent near the battlefield.
Logan does not sugarcoat his memoir. It is a simple, true remembrance of a time long past, and a reflection on what he refers to as “the fifth season.” A good read at any time of the year.
Christmas Remembered, by Ben Logan, hard cover, black-and-white illustrations,Voyageur Press, $17.99, available from the publisher at www.voyageurpress.com.
Nothing new under the sun? The John Harvey 2011 Classic Farm Tractors calendar is an exception to that rule. The 22nd in a series, the 2011 calendar features an eye-popping assortment of handsome, rare tractors, ranging from a 1911 IHC Titan to a 1962 Minneapolis-Moline G 706 LP.
All the bases are covered, from toys to riding mowers to the 1976 Steiger Panther II done up in patriotic colors. The calendar even includes an interesting page on cotton pickers past and present, showcasing a terrific restoration of a 1961 IH Model 314.
The cover of the 2011 calendar sports a fine trio of Farmalls owned by Ray Miller in front of his barn, which is painted with an enormous American flag. The flag is a commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attack; United Flight 93 went down in a field near the Miller farm in Somerset County, Pa.
A national memorial, financed by public and private monies, is planned at the crash site. Classic Farm Tractors is supporting that effort through creation of commemorative T-shirts and sweatshirts; net proceeds will be donated to the memorial fund.