xt7jh98zct60_45 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. 1958 August 8 text 1958 August 8 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_45/1958_8_8_Bevins_Changes_in_farming_methods_p1.pdf 1958 August 8 1958 1958 August 8 section false xt7jh98zct60_45 xt7jh98zct60 I .
’ ' *orning View Kentucky
, 8 august 1958
Hello Mr. McCarthy,
A bit more of St. Swithin-type weather and the treeppatch would
have become a rain forest. Fortunately, the terrific, crashing
downpours, for the most part, missed our area where there is so
little level land that a farmer must perforce defy the tenets of
conservation and cultivate hillsides if he is to cultiVate at all.
* We received not a drop of the appalling storm which flooded
western Hamilton County, and one's imagination is staggered at
the thought of,4 inches of rain slamming down upon this land of
narrow, tangled ridges, and pinched, abrupt little valleys.

' As it was, we experienced a raininess this section has not known
since I lived here. Mushrooms, dormant through the years of my
residence in the tree patch, glowed like scattered jewels upon
its sodden floor, and I dined happily on several varieties which
had hitherto given no hint of their presence here. Slipping and
Spattering about in perpetually wet shoes, I would not have been
surprised to discover ghostly fingers of Spanish moss dripping
from the great oaks.

‘ Now that things have dried somewhat, and the hum of tractors
once more echoes across the ridge tops, a passing hay wagon focused
my attention upon the great change these same tractors have wrought
in the appearance of the countryside.
The hay wagon, its fragrant load piled neatly and geometrically in
bales, trundled silently past on rubber tires, an easy burden for
the tractor pulling it. I tried.to remember, and could not do so,
when I had last seen the hay wagon of yesterday -- a great shaggy
mound, marking its trail with scattered wisps of hay as it
clanked along on iron wheels behind a team of big horses.
It has been accompanied into oblivion by the vast, domed hay stack
which formerly dominated a field and Was the center of interest
for all stock therein -- stock which, more often than not today,
- no.longer includes horses or mules. Until this spring I have been
aboe to Watch, on a distant ridge, a lone white horse as he pulled
- v various implements. He is still there, but this year he stood
idly in pasture as a tractor did his work.
To the chinking thud of the hay baler has been added the ferocious
- clamor of the corn picker, and the corn shock has vanished from
the landscape. There is something enimently satisfying in the
sight of stout corn shoks marching in precise array across the
shoulder of a hill. Last winter, looking to all horizons from the
: tree patch, I could find but one field where a few of them stood
lonely vigil, and they toppled over with the first touch of
winter storm.

The sheaf of Small grain which brought an air of ripeness and '
richness to the countryside has fallen victim to the nighty
combine, by whose multiple action a field of standing grain is
reduced to barren stubble almost in a matter of moments.
Elements other than the busy, powerful tractor have brought
changes to rural landscapes. For instance, on a still, clear
winter morning, few chimneys emit the little, cordial, Christmas—
card spiral of smoke that once told each farmer his neighbors

' were astir. Modern fuels and heating units have eliminated
smoke, and the little chimneys stand as bleakly against the
bright morning sky as though the houses beneath them were
deserted and cold. A winter sunrise, though beautiful, seems
remote and chill without the human touch of that drifting smoke
from farmhouse chimneys. ‘ ’
Electricity, however, has brought a decided improvement. When
the heavy darkness of a cloudy or moonless night has settled over
ridge and valley, the little twinkling lights in distant houses
and barns are much brighter than in the days of the oil lamp,
and by this additional brightness seem to draw the community
more closely together as it prepares for its night's repose.
Best wishes to you all,