Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Russian Farmers

Three generations of farmers from Russia. That is Russia, Ohio not Soviet Russia. Did you know that there is a little village in western Ohio that is named Russia? Yes, there is and the Russia natives are very proud of their village and its Catholic Church, its school system and the many businesses located in Russia. There are around 450 residents but nearly 850 people commute to work in Russia. One of the big local firms is a branch of Clopay Doors. I have a niece and nephew who work for Clopay. Most of the founding fathers of Russia were French Catholics who immigrated to Ohio after the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, if you make a trip to the Arch of Triumph in Paris you will see the name of a French general named Grilliot. Many of this general's descendants grew up in Russia, Ohio. Carol Grilliot was in my class and Annette Grilliot was in my sister's class. The neighboring French communities are French Town and Versailles. The oldest tombstones in these three villages are written in French. By the way, people from Russia, Ohio sometimes pronounce Russia the way the original French settlers pronounced it: Roo she! The immigrants thought that the land reminded them of the cold flat land that they encountered in Russia when they were fighting for Napoleon in Russia in the wintertime.

Now to these Russian Farmers. The first generation is my brother Carl who is standing by that big tire on the combine. The combine belongs to Carl's son, Greg, the second generation. The three preteen boys up in the combine are Greg's sons: Justin, Jordan and Jake. Farming is in their genes. I know that they got the farming genes from my father Leo. And that combine is a Massey Ferguson. It was Greg's farm toy to drive with his sons in toe. Now Greg has a new combine to toodle around the farms. I hope someone sends me a photo of the new combine. Folks, have you noticed how farmers get excited over farm machinery? Just like city folks getting excited over a new Lexus or Jaguar to drive.

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