Memory Lane: ‘Modern Farmer’

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You’re going to have to reach deep into your memory banks to find this–Modern Farmer, an early 1950s TV show that aired at 5 a.m. or 5:30 on Saturday mornings. It ran from 1950-1958, then went into syndication for many more years. My old friend George, finding nothing else to do, watched it the morning he had to report to the Army, having been drafted.

This show is so old, so obscure, that I couldn’t find any clips of it on youtube. It was, of course, about farmers and farming, and I have no idea why, when I was eight years old or so, I would get up to watch it. Maybe because Andy’s Gang came on next and I didn’t want to miss Froggy the Gremlin.

It wasn’t an irrelevant show. In those days there were still farms in our neighborhood, before Democrats paved them all over. There were farms nearby that went back all the way to the Revolutionary War and earlier, owned by farmers who fought for America’s independence from Britain. Fresh corn on the cob for supper? All I had to do was get on my bike and pedal for ten minutes, and bring home the corn in my basket.


We can’t get those farms back. The farmers rest in our town’s most ancient cemetery, along with others who put their lives on the line to birth the United States of America. Across the parking lot from our apartment stands a house that was a tavern in the 18th century. A small battle was fought here; the wounded, patriots and redcoats alike, were brought there to be tended to. It was said the ghost of a wounded British officer used to walk up the stairs inside that house until sometime in the 1960s, when the famous psychic investigator Hans Holzer supposedly put to rest that troubled spirit. But the lady who lived there in the 1970s said the ghost still appeared occasionally. He did no harm, she said.

I like to think that Christ’s kingdom will have more farms than nail salons.


About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

6 responses to “Memory Lane: ‘Modern Farmer’

  • Erlene

    Boy, I sure hear you on this one, Lee. Nail salons- phooey. FARMS! Love them. Most of my relatives were once farmers, and very successful, at that. The green fields, large gardens, lush green meadows- now that is living.


  • UnKnowable

    It strikes me as a very natural way to live.


  • Linda Sorci

    We spent every summer of our lives in Pennsylvania on my uncle’s farm where we grew our food and had all sorts of animals – including a burro! Down the road (unpaved, of course) was the dairy farm where we were allowed to help milk cows. My favorite part was skimming the cream from the top 🙂

    My cousin decided to make his entrance into the world a bit early and we were too far from a hospital, so the dairy farmer and his wife (who had much experience birthing calves) rode their tractor to our house to help deliver him. I loved that life and would give much to return there – not only for the farm life, but life in general back then.

    Here’s a video of the very first program I saw on television (not necessarily this episode but the series) 🙂


  • thewhiterabbit2016

    I grew up in Orange County, California when it was mostly orange groves, and there was no smog. Today it is hard to find even an orange tree. It inspired Joni Mitshell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” with its lyric “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” I haven’t lived there since 1976.


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