The Stewart Lads

The Stewart Lads

The Stewart Lads

An earlier post shows Hogback Farm around 1936.  That is were these boys grew up between 1946 and 1962.  At least until they were there until Aunt Gerry and Uncle Don discovered Scotsdale, Arizona in 1954.  From that year forward their location was split evenly between Woodstock, Illinois and Camelback Mountain.  Six cold months down in the south west and six in the heartland.  Bobby was the youngster born in 1951.  Today, he is the last man standing in the family.  Mom, Dad and his twin brothers Don and Bill have all passed.

Growing up on the two farms was like an adventure in the 100 acre wood as told by A. A. Milne.  Because most of the kids were on Hogback Farm, I would scoot across the back pasture from our home to assemble at either the Stewart house or the Schuler home.  Grandfather William Anderson Stewart bought it in 1933 as a weekend retreat place.  Arabelle and Ferdus were my mother’s and uncle’s horses respectively that they rode as teenagers. The horses survived long into our childhoods.  Uncle Don inherited the place when grandpa died in 1940.

The tales we created in real life were many.  Aunt Gerry was puzzled by teethmarks in the wax apple that were still there years later.  My cousins convinced me it was okay to have a bite of fresh fruit.  Sledding down our numerous hills in the winter was always good for a story.  Somehow we were convinced we could soar if we built the snow ball ski jump big enough.  We did fly onto sore bottoms when we landed.  One of us broke the wood rail on our American Flyer on one jump.  Guns could have been a problem.  We all had one or two.  I was jealous because Don and Bill got 22 pistols as well as shotguns.  I was allowed to have a 16 gauge single shot for hunting.  We were 12 years old!  Our frontal lobes were inadequate.  Nevertheless, we did survive some really stupid moves that could have cost us dearly and forever.

We camped out overnight in the woods.  I don’t remember ever making it all through the night though.  The mosquitos or the imagined goblins would drive us back the the farm house.  We smoked some cigarettes out on the roof of the big barn filled with newly bailed hay.  We were lucky as I said.

Growing up on the farm was special.  It was extra special with the Stewart Lads.

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