A Simpler Place in Time | Doublewide Home

There was a turning point in life on the farm after the first year.  Dave, Jeff and Bubba were the primary residents; and later Rob came to live, so it was a pretty full house.  My own situation had changed a bit, I had newfound flexibility in my job.  I began to secretly entertain the idea that I might be able to move to Athens from my residence in Roswell – a distance of about 90 miles!  It went even farther than a place in Athens though, I was thinking about moving to the farm!

I kept that thought to myself for awhile; weighing the pros and cons.  The biggest question was; what would a couple of college student kids say to having their dad come live with them?

So one day I posed the question to them and to my great surprise nobody objected!  So it was settled quickly and I made my plans; rented out my house and prepared my move.  The only problem was that the trailer was full!  Dave in the master, Bubba in a second bedroom and Rob in the third; where was I going to stay?

The solution was kind of comical as I look back, but I want to say now, that as humble as the surroundings may have been….I’ve never been happier during the time I lived there on that farm with my sons!

There was a little pantry area in that old trailer so I put up a wall, adding some cheap paneling and moved a twin bed into that little room.  There are probably more spacious jail cells, but this was far from a prison; I slept well and was having a great time – in spite of the heat!

That’s right, a doublewide in Georgia without air (and the furnace was marginal too)!  One of the first things I did was to have a nice heat pump installed and for the first time, the trailer was air conditioned.  This addition certainly contributed to my popularity as the newest resident of the trailer.  Not too long after that I hired Wayne from down the road to build a nice covered deck on the back and a covered front porch.  No more 6 foot drop out back and gone were the cinder blocks for the front steps.

We added a chain link fence to the backyard, a TV antenna was mounted in an oak tree out front, and then later satellite!  New carpeting and new bathtubs contributed to making our place more civilized and comfortable.  It became home.

The Flock

We built a chicken house that first year; and 25 years later it still stands! 


Now we needed to fill it up.  We discovered the Stromberg Poultry catalog and before long a box full of chicks arrived; they became the first residents of this new structure.  There was a learning curve for raising chickens; for example, the water bottles had to be just right to keep them from falling in and drowning; a lesson learned the hard way.

It also became evident that everything wanted to eat our chickens!  We had hawks, possums, dogs, snakes and probably the greatest nemesis – foxes – all attack and to one degree or another take their toll on our burgeoning flock.  The fresh eggs that they ultimately provided to us, made it all worthwhile!

In the battle against poultry attrition, I ordered an incubator and started gathering the eggs (and in some cases, ordered fertilized eggs) for hatching.  This was exciting, when after 21 days, I would open the lid and retrieve the baby chicks that had hatched overnight.  They would go into a cardboard box with a heat lamp and there they would live for a few weeks or so until I could introduce them to the flock!

Later we would venture into (what we thought) were bold new areas.  Fancy Bantams, many breeds of chickens (including one breed that laid pastel blue or pink eggs), turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks and geese!  Soon this poultry paradise was to be threatened by a formidable foe!

The Fox

“The Fox” was elusive and his name deserves to be capitalized, because he was so good at his job as The Fox in the hen house.  His job, evidently, was to wipe out our poultry operation.

I personally shot at him 4 times!  Once he came bounding up within 10 feet of  me as I was scattering feed; he was so intent on the birds, his mouth was watering in anticipation of another feast; he didn’t even notice me, even when I went into the barn and brought out my old Winchester 1903 pump action 22!  Unfortunately that gun never really shot straight and I missed him from spitting distance as he trotted away, only to return later that night.

We tried a live trap, baited hooks, and anything else we could think of the capture or kill The Fox, but he always outsmarted us!  There is more to the story, but that is for another chapter, for now it is enough to know that plans are in the works to add new residents to the old chicken house!


Ducks need water so, I kept a kiddie swimming pool full of water for them at all times.

This domestic turkey looks just like the native wild turkeys found in Georgia and throughout the eastern US.

This box with a heat lamp was where the newly incubated chicks went before they were old enough to join the flock.

Some of the guineas hanging out. They are noisy, but are low maintenance and make good “watchdogs”!



Here is the unedited video of the early farm years with some bonus footage of Jeff’s trip to Colorado!

to be continued …



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