Thursday, October 25, 2012

Alabama Plowboy

During our travels, Clovis and I headed a little north and west of Nashville to visit family in southern Illinois.  

Mom was born in Cairo, and we drove around there to see some of the changes.  It is an urban tragedy.  The downtown is devastated, many buildings torn down, barren main streets.  Here is an old theater Mom remembers going to as a girl.  Nothing showing now.

A short trip outside of Cairo and we arrived in Olive Branch, a very small town in a farming area near the Mississippi River.  We visited cousins David and Debbie at their restaurant, the Kozy Korner.  It was delicious!  Another cousin, Sheryl, happened in as well.

Debbie had found a couple old-timers for me to talk to about mule-plowing days.  They told us about a "plow" that happened to be going on just a few miles west at the edge of the Mississippi.  It was an incredible coincidence.  We had a blast.
View over the plow from the top of the levee.
Some Belgian mules (?) attached to a sulky plow.
Walking plow, the most basic you can get.
Some nice, big mules.
A walking plow with a round colter to create a clean, smooth cut.
Some beautiful and gigantic Belgian draft horses.
A mule foal. Mules are sterile and don't reproduce.  A horse and a donkey breed a mule.
My mule mentor, Kenneth, behind his team, Toby and Blaze.
Mom got behind the plow.
Cousin Debbie held Clovis.  He did not like mules or horses.
Here is a video of me plowing behind a mule!!

Here is Mom plowing!

Here is a little clip of a sulky plow.

And a longer video of Kenneth plowing.

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