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Life story
August 5, 1960
Born on August 5, 1960.
Life with Ben

We'd been living in Missouri for a while, Ben had tried his hand at factory work, but it was not his cup of tea.  Farm work was what he knew, and what he was good at.
He landed a job on a dairy about twenty miles from Mt. Grove (where we lived since we moved from Georgia) Well, Missouri had ben in a drought for a while, and this lady that owned the farm thought more about her next real estate sale than she did about her cattle.  The farm was in such bad shape that she could only sell her milk for Grade B.
The job included housing, but the trailer house that was included in the deal was on it's side after a recent tornado.  Ben used the farm tractor to pick it back up right (what a mess) Had to do some plumbing and electrical work to make it livable and alot of cleaning.  But we did it, and there we were.
Now Ben took a look around and he decided with alot of cleaning up, and proper care of the cattle ( the ones that weren't already beyond nursing back to health) that he could turn this farm back into a Grade A farm.  He used the tractor to clear months worth of shit (and I mean cow shit) away from the milking parlor.  He also had to haul away dead animals from the pasture.
I got put to work cleaning calf pens and the holding area and the parlor.  I had a bad run-in with the farm turkey one day while cleaning the calf pens.  He had me cornered for twenty minutes or more.  Ben came looking for me, and here I was in stall, petting a young calf.  He asked me "were the hell have you been?" I told him that "THAT TURKEY WANTED TO ATTACK ME!"  He laughed his ass off and accused me of being a wimp.
Anyway,  he got that lady's farm back to Grade A status, which is a HUGE improvement, and pays a farmer alot more money.  The thankless bitch could care less how much time and effort we put into HER farm, all she knew was the grain and hay bill was larger than before.
Ben said that he had heard stories about how "Nellie" was not in her right mind, the milk hauler had nothing good to say about her along with a couple of her neighbors and a few of the other people in town.
We didn't know how far off her rocker she really was until she blew up about the feed bill.  When Ben tried to explain to her how much more money she would make on Grade A milk, all she was seeing was RED.  Things got really bad when she told ben "24 hours you're out, or I'm going to blow holes in that trailer"  Now Ben had a wife and two babies in that trailer (that we made livable) He started seeing RED himself, so he packed us up, and took us over to his mom and dad's in Mt. Grove.  I don't think I've ever seen him so mad as he was that day.
That night he went to Nellies farm, left the lights on (on purpose), laid on the floor with his 22 (with a scope) and waited to see if that bitch was going to be true to her word.  Nothing happened that night, but before he left the next morning he took one last walk around the farm.  He opened a couple of grain bins, fed the cattle well that morning, and before he left for good he took the farm tractor and tipped that trailor back over on it's side!

By Eddie Hodges
March 11, 2012
Passed away on March 11, 2012.
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