Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Midweek reminder: Plow deep and straight and not cut corners

You probably saw this ad on Sunday. Or at least, you've seen it in the days since the Super Bowl, as it is widely considered one of the best ads of the day (though from what else I hear, it was not a tough crowd to stand out in).

But did you remember the words? The quick cadence of Paul Harvey's voice is one of the things that makes the spot memorable, though it doesn't lend to recall. When I happened upon the text of the ad and then watched it, listened to it--again, and again--I got a big old lump in my throat, thinking about my Grandpa Goerlitz and his farmer ways. And his hands. Those hands around the 40-second mark--my Grandpa had hands like those.

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours." So God made the farmer.

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark."

It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. 

So God made a farmer.


  1. I loved this commercial...strangely enough, it made me think of Japan, when the US Forces Radio would play Paul Harvey every day at noon.
    Somewhere I heard that this ad wasn't very successful because no one knew who Paul Harvey was. I find that sad.

    1. I think the ad is very successful even if you don't know who Paul Harvey is. I know who he is but never listened with any frequency. The voice, the modulation, the words, they all work for me.

  2. I think we can all be farmers in our own lives, you know what I mean?

  3. I was hoping for the patented Sherilee version of the word "Raaaaaaaammmmm!!!!" as the signoff for this video..

    1. Oh wow, I had almost completely blocked that out! What a hoot--trust you to remind me of that, you are always so good at remembering the "little things." Ha. Thanks for the chuckle.


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