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Artist VII

Story ID:5741
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1930
Person:Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Artist VII

I’ve seen Norman Rockwell’s “down home” paintings
Of reunions of families in the park
Groups of kids playing marbles
Or with their slingshots aiming at some mark.

When the harvest hands had finished dinner
They moved outside to a bench that my Uncle had made
Settled down for a smoke
Beneath that Hackberry tree in the shade

Out came the “fixins”
Bull Durham, Velvet and Prince Albert in a can
No Taylor made cigarettes for them
Theirs were rolled by hand.

I breathed in the odor
Of the second hand smoke
It smelled like horse manure
As they puffed away and told jokes.

Not all the hired hands smoked
For there were those who chewed
Redman, Copenhagen, Skoal, and Plug
As a kid I thought this was crude.

By painting the different harvest hands faces
Rockwell would have had it made
As the harvest hands chewed and smoked
After dinner while relaxing in the shade.
Monte L. Manka 02-15-10