And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
- Genesis 1:24-26
I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”’
- Ezekiel 38:12-13
In the Scripture from Genesis, God made the distinction from the start between livestock and wild animals. And from Ezekiel we can see that livestock is a prized commodity, high on the list of plunder from battle. But in this case, livestock sent me down memory lane on a siderail, if you will.
I took my wife to dialysis the other day and when I drove home, I went by the farm that I had passed for nearly twenty years to and from work every day. I did not have my camera ready. Of course not, when everything was out in the early morning grazing in the field next to the road.
The farmer has horses. He has donkeys. He has cows. He has llamas. He has alpacas. He has sheep. He has all livestock; he has all livestock; he has all … livestock.
I wrote it that way, because it was one thing to go down memory lane, growing up on a farm, but in writing it that way, I remember an old record player at MawMaw’s house. It could switch from 33 1/3 to 45 to 78 revolutions per minute. When my cousins came up from Florida, we would get out the record player and play old 45s, and a few 45s that were not so old, and 78s. We would even play the 45s at 78, so the song sounded like the Chipmunks were singing it. I know, we lived a wild life in those days.
We really liked the novelty songs. The one that I cannot find is a song similar to Spike Jones, Feetlebaum, with Doodles Weaver doing the call of the horse race. The same kind of crazy names for horses. With Doodles Weaver, he would change it up every night, to add local politicians or dignitaries as a horse that was lagging behind or in some other non-winning position. But I did find a few even though I did not find the same recordings.
Why did that memory of a record player pop into my head looking at livestock grazing? I thought of an old song about how the train engineer fooled the man at the toll booth. He said he had livestock, but he did not. It was a different recording of Lonnie Donegan singing Rock Island Line. And I have worked at a couple of steel mills near Rock Island, IL, across the river in Iowa. And New Orleans is mentioned in the song, one of my favorite towns – to visit.
Pig iron is not an animal. Pig iron is made by tapping a blast furnace and pouring the contents into a trench with a few wide spots in the trench. When the molten iron cools and turns to a solid, they pry the iron out of the ground and it looks like a pig, with an irregular shape. These days, they pour the molten iron into a railcar and send it to the next process before it gets cold, but often still called pig iron due to the composition of iron and carbon.
The song that we used to sing along with was Cool Clear Water by the Sons of the Pioneers. Since this was remastered from a 78, I thought it was the same until the very end – alas, not.
But the one that got us excited and ready to go outside to run off some of our energy was Beep Beep by the Playmates. The image looked like the 45 that we had.
But when we wanted to hear the really old music, probably the records that my mother and their mother had left behind, we listened to the 78s, mostly Rudy Vallee. Here is You’re Just Another Memory.
Now that my trip down memory lane is over for the day, I find it amazing that children do not know how to play anymore, at least many do not. They must use their cellphone or a gaming system. We would put on a recording of the William Tell Overture and not having broomstick horses, we would use MawMaw’s brooms and mops to ride our “horses” into the sunset.
We used our imaginations for all kinds of adventures. We did not need the adventure laid out for us by a programmer. I may have been a “tube head” watching television all day long, when allowed to do so when I was at home alone, but with friends or cousins over, the television was rarely on. We were outside playing something, usually creating something from the scraps that we could find. We swung through the trees (do not try that at home) from muscadine vines that clung to the trees, and sometimes let go at just the wrong point. Without store-bought blocks or Lincoln logs, we used the scraps of wood from PawPaw’s woodshed.
It makes me think of what God promises us. He promises us all that we need. And when we have enough imagination, we don’t really need that much. And God gave us our imagination, too.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.