A Farmer

So I am on a one week Lyft sabbath.  I am currently in Tulsa, America, where I am reconnecting with a few dozen friends who began college together in August of 1967, at Phillips University.  When we walked into the venue last night with the normal anxiety that seems to accompany these kinds of moments, I thought to myself, “Look for the old people”.  I spotted a familiar grey haired friend and a most beautiful evening began.  By the way, for you folk out there who are anticipating riding in my red car on a Lyft ride, that will be next week.  This week I have experienced how precious life is and how quickly it goes by.  At the center of my musings today I want to give thanks for a friend, in whose memorial service I was privileged to deliver the eulogy/sermon, in Pueblo last Wednesday.  His name was Jimmy DiSanti, a full blooded Siciliano who spent his life feeding Coloradans.  My connection with Jimmy came through my wife Mary Kay.  When we got married 33 years ago our Matron of Honor was RoseAnn DiSanti, a city girl gone farmer’s wife.

To be invited into the world of DiSanti Farms has been a great blessing.  They farm along the Arkansas River just east of Pueblo proper.  They are produce farmers, which means they grow: radishes, onions, cucumbers, corn, squash of every kind, tomatoes, spinach, parsley, cilantro, beets, turnips, carrots, THE BEST PUEBLO  GREEN CHILI, cantaloupe, watermelon, egg plant and I am sure I have missed a few…oh yes how could I forget, peas and green beans.  The DiSantis don’t just grow green things they, grow wonderful children and grandchildren of character.  Probably every other month and six times in August and September we pull into the DiSanti Farm’s “Fruit Stand”.  Usually the first person we would see would be Jimmy who had given up his tractor for Chairman of Farm Hospitality.  He was the warmest, kindest, man who treated everyone the same whether it be a bank president or women who worked in his fields all day.  There will now only be memories of a sweat-stained ball cap and “Hey there you have got to try the watermelon”.

Sometime this early September we will pull into the farm.  There will be the smell of six chili roasters going simultaneously.  There will 20-30 customers moving around picking out cucumbers to can, tomatoes to turn into pasta sauce, and peanut shells on the concrete floor.  There will be laughter and jokes.  In the big warehouse in the back workers will be boxing up veggies to send in big trucks up I-25.  The unique smell of life will be everywhere.  And we will all be missing Jimmy.  Life will go on. We will get older.  The next time you hit a salad bar remember the farmer, who in February, spent tens of thousands of dollars on seeds. They begin planting in March and every day they work and worry.  Remember the 49 folk who come up from Mexico to treat your onions like family.  When you carve up your Jack-O-Lantern in October, it likely could have been fed by the waters coming down from Monarch Pass into the Arkansas river. 

This year’s  snow is next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. 

Onward and Upwards,

Mark

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