Not bad for a repeat.
You may recall that the 2021 version was the icebreaker to what became a long series of return events after the Wuhan flu unnecessarily wiped out a year of our lives. This year marks the return to normalcy for the event, with one exception: the wind was once again not a factor. While we didn’t have the shirtsleeve weather that we were blessed with last year (a week later than normal because of when Easter fell) the weather was still superb for early spring on Delmarva, with sunny skies complementing temperatures in the low 50s.
Because a lot about the event is constant year-to-year, I was going to have a goal of sticking close to the number of photos from last year, but like a late April Fool’s joke I blew through that number. However, I did cull a few from my initial pass at it and kept it under 20. As always the captions help add to the thousand words.
I heard a little of the story behind the Adkins farm: turns out the creator of Plow Days grew up as a neighbor of this farm’s patriarch, Milbourne Adkins – who also grew up to be a pastor of a nearby church. So when Oren Perdue was looking for a venue, they struck a deal: get some of the Adkins ground ready for the season in return for an opportunity for sharing the Perdue ministry and providing a day of real horsepower and wholesome family-friendly entertainment.
Pastor Perdue continued, noting his parents bought the farm he grew up on for $41 an acre – this was back in the Depression era, of course. Many years later, with his mother in ill health, it sold for many times that. He claimed that a bumper crop of cucumbers in its first year paid off the land, but wistfully noted it’s a lot tougher on farmers today. (If I may add my take on his story – which I don’t doubt for a second – the farms of today are in the hundreds or even thousands of acres and grow a multitude of crops. I live in the midst of one.)
This event, then, is a reminder of a time that the much younger Perdue wasn’t all that far removed from. One thing I missed in my photo essay from last year was the corn shelling, but not this time. I have another omission made right this year, but I’m saving it for later.
As I wrote up above, part of the deal was getting the back 40 for the Adkins farm plowed. This team did a nice job in an environment that’s not as rural as it once was.
While Pastor Perdue’s ministry and musings are a valuable part of the proceedings, Plow Days also gives the young ones an introduction to rural history and farm animals they may not normally see up close.
The event kept its usual attractions of good food and local craftspeople hawking their wares on a well-traveled midway.
It’s worth giving you a little insight on Brent since he’s become something of a success story. Nine years ago Brent left his sales job to pursue his passion of creating pottery, and after a few fits and starts (including a fire that heavily damaged his garage/studio) he’s made a go of the business – an endeavor he also uses to spread the Gospel.
As for my other omission made right: the other thing I missed getting a picture of last year was the entertainment. Once again it was the Mt. Olivet String Band, but this time I can show you what they look like.
Although it seemingly contradicts the Book of Ecclesiastes, I have to tell you there were a few new things under the sun this year. (Perhaps they were only new to me.)
One thing was the sharp antique pickup truck below, which complemented the little maroon car I pictured last year. (I almost included a picture of its rumble seat, but it ended up on the cutting room floor.) But there’s a story behind that truck, too.
It occurred to me as we were on our way (we had to run another errand before we went to Plow Days) that I would likely find hot and cold running politicians there, since it’s an election year in Wicomico County. The Lombardo in question is Darren Lombardo, and he’s running for the county school board. In talking to him I realized he is worth checking out because he has a philosophy regarding school choice I tend to agree with. I’ll stop short of a formal endorsement because I don’t know about his opponents, but as I said, worth checking out if you’re one of my Wicomico readers.
Normally if we go anywhere like this, people know my wife because she works in the medical field so they’re often her patients or former coworkers. But in any event featuring political types, the tables are turned because people notice me and this was the case here. (It was either that or my Detroit Lions hoodie.) I ran into Joe Holloway, David Snyder, Linda Luffman, Addie Eckardt, Jamie Dykes, and Larry Dodd there, and there were others, too – I heard John Cannon and John Psota being introduced and Dodd was walking with Dutch Schwemlein, a newcomer seeking an at-large County Council seat that I was introduced to. Linda was looking to meet up with another newcomer, A.J. Angello – who is the primary opponent for Joe Holloway.
(The scorecard: Holloway, Dodd, and Cannon are current Wicomico County Council members looking to keep their jobs, Snyder is seeking the open County Council District 2 seat, Luffman is looking to be re-elected to the county’s Republican Central Committee, Eckardt is running to retain her State Senate seat, Dykes is the incumbent State’s Attorney, and Psota is the incumbent appointed County Executive who was granted the job after Bob Culver died in office in the summer of 2020, after the 2020 filing deadline.) I got a little bit of a lowdown on what’s up with the county election, particularly the slates, from Linda, while Snyder informed me of a strange technicality that made him withdraw his candidacy for the seat when it opened up a couple years ago due to Marc Kilmer’s resignation. (I may expound on that in the future.)
Quick aside: in jogging my memory of who I ran into by looking at the candidate list for Wicomico County I saw there were 14 candidates for the Republican Central Committee this year, so far. Damn, that’s a popular unpaid and pretty much thankless job.
But back to Plow Days: the true test of these people will be how many come back next year – not to be introduced to the crowd like the politicians are, but to support it. I think Plow Days is the type of event that’s worth backing as it deftly combines history, ministry, and an awareness of what makes a rural area so unique.
It’s an attitude I can sum up with one final photo.
Like Oren Perdue noted on this fine afternoon, farming doesn’t seem to be an avocation that’s drawing young people. I came from a place where the blue FFA jackets were still a common sight 40 years ago, but here and now people aren’t as interested in keeping that vital lifestyle going. And having just lost my dad recently, it makes me realize I don’t know how much longer the stalwarts of Plow Days – who are close to his age – have on this earth, so we need to keep this slice of history and an occupation that ranks among those preserving the lifeblood of our nation alive as long as possible.