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Dad Stories: Fun Old Orchard Tales by Dr. Jim Cummins

These slice-of-life stories by Dad share his childhood growing up in a tiny country village during the 1920s and 1930s. They are collected with other stories in Boy at Dix: Mostly True Stories of a Boyhood in Southern Illinois, edited by Sarah Cummins Small. We asked Leila Sherman, age 12 of Eve's Cidery, to illustrate them for the web site. You can read more about Dr. Jim Cummins.

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It was never the simple job it looked to be – stacking would go well until we had 90% of the...

Ben Davis

It's 1938, and the day of Ben Davis apples is past, so the Ben Davis trees that Grandfather had put...

First Bike

There must have been half a dozen bikes on the streets of Kell. One kid had a wire basket...

Whitewash

I spotted the painters’ buckets—big paint brushes soaking, lots of white stuff in the buckets. ...

Grandmother's Chickens

When a customer came calling, Grandmother would head for the special pen of young chickens. She had a special chicken-catcher....

Mumbly-Peg

Open all three blades. Long shining blade straight out; peeler blade straight out the other end; little peeler at right...

Pigs

I tapped her nose to slow her down. Frankie stopped, snatched my stick, bit it in two. “Don’t tap on...

Snow in Miss Gladys' Class

Miss Gladys showed us how to play Fox and Geese. We had never played a game in the snow. Fox...

Little Pearl and the Hot Box

Little Pearl hated to get wet, really hated it, hated getting wet worse than about anyone I ever knew....

Apple Butter and the Ladies Aid Society

All day long the apple butter simmered, and at last at sundown ol' Miz Wilson pronounced it nectar-ready. ...

Flood

I waded in through knee-deep mud, mud I could almost taste through my toes, it felt so good. ...

Hunting Arrowheads

Uncle Andy drove his Model B Ford out the Toll Road to Mr. Brock’s farm, parked by his old cornfield....

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