Every season there was a passel of us kids employed for the mere joy of baling hay, reaping oats, or picking corn on both Hogback Farm and Windy Hill Farm. We were the children of the owners and the farm manager. Without fail, Rudy would offer us a pinch of snuff to wedge behind our lips. Without fail, we would all turn green.
Rudy Schuler, his wife Blanche, and their four children, Judy, Karen, Paul, and David lived in the farm manager’s house. Across the huge lawn was Uncle Don and Aunt Gerry’s home. Donny and Billy were the twins; followed later by Bobby. Cynthia, Wendy, and I lived across the pasture on Windy Hill Farm.
While Uncle Don owned Hogback Farm, Rudy ran it. If you look at the Hogback Farm post you will see both this and Windy Hill Farm nestled together side by side. Essentially Rudy and my Dad managed the combined properties with the passel of kids adding free labor to the mix. The precision planting, weeding, and harvesting was done by the two adults. As we kids got bigger, we relieved the parents from some of those duties; especially if there was heavy lifting involved.
Rudy was the real brains, born and raised an Iowa farm boy. He taught my dad the elements of the land. He knew the equipment. He kept it running. He was a stanch Catholic raising the children in the faith.
While my Uncle Don has always been my hero, Rudy has always been a solid memory of goodness, fairness, and integrity.
Rudy and Blanche came from Iowa to work the farm some time in the 1940’s. Being good Catholics, they had two girls and two boys to help out with the chores. There are several memories that stand out