This is the sort of fun / nostalgic stuff I think of when I search back
for memories of bonny Oaks:
Cutting the Grass,(**#@!!+?#%)
Funny how the mind works, and what it will select to remember well.
One of my early memories of Bonny Oaks is my first outdoors work
assignment, by far the most onerous of them all; cutting the grass.
A boy eight to ten years old doesn't know that "idle hands are the
devil's work-shop" (As all good disciplinarians must surely know) nor
has he the slightest desire to see Bermuda grass Johnson grass, Rag weeds Saw
briers, Poison oak and Dandelions converted from tangles of barbed wire-like
jungles into smooth lush carpets of green. He doesn't know what a grass
sickle is either, or how to swear properly, but he soon learns!
Through some regrettable long-range planning, an area of grassland from
Bonny Oaks Drive to the peach orchard and from the big ditch to the chicken
house and milking barn areas, was designated a "Lawn." areas. It
seems to have naturally followed that the grass had to be kept down below
knee-height, or better; and even as low as three or four inches high if at all
possible! Now, keeping in mind that "devil's work-shop" thing, and
keeping in mind that boys ten and older were needed for other heavier farm work,
just try to guess who cut the grass! Give up??
Yep! A gaggle of eight - to -ten year old "littleboys", under the eye
of some unlucky "bigboy" teen-ager. That's who cut the grass. WE
cut the grass! We cut the
"confounded, dad-burned, cotton Pickin" grass for sweaty hours on end
and, seemingly, for weeks at a time!!
Another thing to keep in mind: Power mowers as we know them today did not yet
exist; reel-type push lawn mowers were still pretty primitive and needed
constant fixing. Most of us were too small to push them or fix them, so
only a few of them were used and only in special areas.
But not to despair. We had sickles. Two kinds of sickles; Hand sickles and
With hand sickles, you lean over; as when you are touching your toes, or
you get to your knees or crouch; as when you are a frog, slashing at the grass
and moving forward, reaching as far as you can to left and right.
With swinging sickles you stand with knees slightly bent, draw back, and
swing; much as if you were Sam Snead, hitting a golf ball for hundreds of
yards!! At which time the bigboy in charge will yell at you to get on with it!
With either kind of sickle, you build a collection of blisters, bruises,
scrapes, sprains, swellings and swear words, not soon or easily forgotten!
(Actually, it only seemed that bad. Danged close though!!)