• Holly Spangler

    Dat's a Lotta Sweet Corn, Mom

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 23, 2010

    It was sweet corn day at our place last Thursday, and if you have any connection whatsoever to the farm, I'm trusting you know what that means. Because when you have a sweet corn "patch" that's measured in acres, not rows, sweet corn day is an all-day affair of picking, shucking, silking, cutting, cooking, bagging and freezing. And de-bugging. Ugh. I hate those nasty ear worms. Bleck. But I like eating sweet corn in January. And so does my family. So, we have one giant sticky, messy, sweaty…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Check Your Well Covers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 20, 2010

    I just went out to look at our well cover. It looks solid. It looks OK. But now I'm not so sure. I spent time on the phone this morning with Mark Bertolino. We'd done a story together a few years ago about longwall mining in Montgomery County. But today he called to tell me about his baby granddaughter, Lia. She fell into her family's well last Tuesday. She died. She was 20 months old. I can hardly comprehend. Lia was outside with her mom and dad, and six-year-old brother. She'd been…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Red, White and Dude, That's a Long Way Up There

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 17, 2010

    My husband, John, called me just a couple days before the Fourth. I knew he was outside because the wind blowing across his cell phone was really loud. Really, really loud. "Ya gotta come see this," he told me.  "Where are you??" "On top of the grain leg. I'm getting the flag up." So I loaded up the kids to run the couple miles up the road, so they could see Daddy risking life and limb to fly the flag. We missed it. By the time we got there, he had it up and had already…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Illinois Native Takes White House Ag Spot

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 14, 2010

    After 18 months of non-action, President Obama has filled the legally-mandated ag and food adviser spot on his policy staff. His choice – Illinois native David Lazarus – has been applauded by the Washington ag press, and appears to be a sound pick who may actually understand the agriculture that exists beyond local, small and organic. Interestingly, I got to know Lazarus during the presidential campaign when he became the key force in Obama's camp for getting a slate of…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Home Sweet Home

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 12, 2010

    I've never had a great hankering to live anywhere but where I am. I don't long to live in Hawaii or Paris or Italy. I wouldn't mind to visit. In fact, I'd love to go to South Africa. But I'd want to come home. The mountains don't call my name either. Again, I wouldn't mind to visit. But I'd want to come back home. Home to wide open prairie, rolling hills, big blue skies, the comfort of rows of corn, cattle somewhere in the nearby distance. And changing seasons. My goodness, how do…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Homegrown Fireworks

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on July 4, 2010

    Thirteen years ago, I was an intern in Washington, D.C. I sat on the National Mall and watched fireworks surround the Washington Monument, set to the 1812 Overture as played by the U.S. Navy Band. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I shared it with about a million other people. Nine years ago, my husband and I found ourselves on the East Coast for a friend's wedding, so we planned a side stop in Boston for the Fourth. We arrived on the banks of the Charles River, and wedged…

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