FIRST THINGS


| November 2003



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Jason B. Harmon

Loyd Brisco was an Ozark Mountain hill farmer. Born in the late 1920s, he was one of the youngest children of John and Lela Brisco, who were both homesteaders in the Arkansas backwoods. Loyd was also my great-great uncle.

As a farm boy, Loyd learned to scratch a living from the rocky land my family first settled before the Civil War, using mules and work horses instead of tractors to grow crops like oats, corn and sorghum cane.

Isolated on the farm miles from the nearest town, Loyd and his brothers and sisters plied their country skills to can food, make molasses and store enough feed for the family's animals through the winter.

The Brisco family was never rich, but they had almost everything they needed to live happily along the banks of the Buffalo River.

For years, it was a cycle that seemed nearly endless to the rural farm family, but that all changed with World War II.

When Loyd was drafted into the U.S. Navy in September 1944, he joined three of his brothers in uniform who all left the farm to fight the war.