Saturday, November 7, 2009

Red Roofs

Pop, my maternal grandfather, painted the roofs of his buildings red. Ownership and pride were reflected in that red paint. Who knows where the red roof tradition began. Perhaps with my great grandfather or before. No one knows.

My cousin, Gene, took over my grandfather's and my uncle's farms. He continued to purchase more adjoining farms soon owning many acres of land. Yes, he loved to farm and loved the land, but there was more.

He provided homes for his family. His daughter lives in the house where Gene was born. His stepson, before his death, lived in another one of the farmhouses. Even this stepson's ex-wife was given a little farmhouse, a home Gene provided for his grandsons. The roofs were red.

When my father died, a decision was made to sell the farm, a decision difficult for my mother. Gene bought the farm giving my mom her home until the end of her life.

He was an honorable man believing in family and their protection. A man not given to show of emotion he gave the only way he could.

The landscape around Neff Road is dotted with red roofs, dotted roofs that represent my family and a generous spirit.

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