I’ve never lived on a farm, but in the 50s I sometimes visited my cousins–Henry, John, Becky and many more of their siblings–on their family farm in southwestern Minnesota. I remember very hard work, very early hours, warm milk from the cows and a very serious Uncle Ralph (The Dad) who was a solid man…who never smiled at me. I always assumed it was because he was thinking about the next thing that must be done. Every part of the farm had a function or use, so when I saw an old hay bailer and shot this gear, I thought about how hard the farmer would work to keep this machine running. Stopping to fix something meant some part of the schedule was not right. Running out of daylight could be a full stop and every full stop cost money. Of course, that’s just my impression, the city kid trying to imagine what that life was like on the farm. My cousin Henry is a photographer who is slowly capturing the countryside of Minnesota with his camera with emphasis on the buildings that are icons of an agricultural way of life that is slowly changing. His pictures are awesome, his memories of that life give a character and texture to the shots. He’s a storyteller extraordinaire. When I look at the picture I took of this gear assembly, I think of Uncle Ralph puzzling out how he going to get this thing going. And then I think of the story that Henry will tell about how the fix miraculously happened. Makes me feel good.