The more historic (older) I get, the more I love history.

I love old houses, old gardens (what we call yards in McBee) and especially old farms. Therefore, I love any event that showcases South Carolina history and especially our farming history.

The great folks at Jamestown in the Mars Bluff community of Florence County invite you to “Come Celebrate Jamestown” Friday through July 28. Saturday is a special “Free Educational Event” at 6301 Jamestown Road in Florence, where you can learn what it took to survive on the farm after the Civil War.

For more information, go to or call Terry James at 843-661-5679.

I am glad I was not around in those days. I thought I had it tough in the so-called good old days of my youth when I opened my first bank account when I was 8 years old with $100 saved from picking cotton and butterbeans from the previous four years on my granddaddy's farm.

However, I was never much of a cotton picker. Working as hard as I could, I would harvest only about 50 pounds per day, and at 5 cents per pound, I could make approximately $15 per week.

I did a little better with the butterbeans at $1 per bucket. I harvested four to five buckets in a 10- to 12-hour day.

Last week, I tried to harvest my half-acre research plot of butterbeans at the Pee Dee Research & Center. I got approximately one bucket picked before I decided to use a combine. I don’t think I am too old to “cut the mustard,” but picking butterbeans is another story.

Please, take a moment from your high-paced-life and think about the times gone by and you will notice “What was once old is new again.” The buzzwords flying from our lips today are “sustainability,” “going green” and “living in harmony with nature.”

Well, whooppedo, these are just fancy terms describing exactly what we did when I was a youth growing up in McBee. We grew our own food. We did not waste anything, and we appreciated every drop of water, morsel of food and the beauty of every plant because that was the basis of our lives.

It is exactly what my mama and daddy taught me growing up as a poor, barefoot farm boy in McBee. Never waste, use what you have, reuse what you can, never throw anything away that can be used by you or someone else, and if possible develop ways to accomplish things without buying anything.

In fact, I thought these were the principles everyone was taught and lived by until I moved away from the farm. The bottom line is that city folks are very wasteful. I guess some city folks have too much, are too spoiled and are too blessed.

What gets to me is that because those urbanites came up with these terms, they think they are a little better than the farm folks who have been doing it forever. City folks are a little snobby with their hybrid cars, but it will never outdo what us farm folks do – don't go anywhere, just stay on the farm and work. You sure don't burn much gas that way.

It tickles me that for years country folks wanted to get to the city, and now the city folks want to get to the country and tell the country folks how to be country. It reminds me of a book I read in my youth, “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse.”

The bottom line is that we all need to work together to conserve, reuse and not waste.

Young people think that these new terms are their great youthful revelations and do not realize that these are based on our forgotten pasts before we let this earth and our lives spin far too fast and too many times.

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.