From the July 2011 magazine.

Growing Up on the Farm

It all began as a good time in a small farming community, but the good times wouldn’t last

“After bailing hay, nothing cut the dust and thirst like a cold beer. However, one was never enough.”

I grew up on a farm in the southwest corner of Minnesota. There were four of us mom, dad, my older sister and me. My parents never divorced; not one time did I see them drunk. I did see my father with a hangover once. It was a Sunday morning and we were not at church, which was a rare occurrence. Dad came down from upstairs to get a pan from the cupboard. He looked at us, and with a sheepish smile said, "I have the 24-hour flu" and back to bed he went. My parents had been to a wedding the night before. It took a while for me to figure out why he had the "24-hour flu." Yes, they drank, but...

-- Al S.

Orting, Washington

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