© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Summer Sounds: Farm Work


Now we're going to explore another summer sound.

(Soundbite of various sounds)

SIEGEL: Our series is connecting people's memories of summer to a specific sound. Today, this memory from writer Amy Dickinson.

Ms. AMY DICKINSON (Writer): The summer I was 9, my father plowed under 50 acres of corn and planted sugar beets.

(Soundbite of shoveling)

Ms. DICKINSON: My old man was an eternal optimist with terminal bad luck. Our little dairy farm was going under. He was highly susceptible to the idea of a miracle crop, like sugar beets was supposed to be. That summer, we had a bad drought.

The fertilizer he had spread to make the sugar beets grow had somehow killed the plants. Or maybe he got some bad seed. Whatever the cause, we had 50 acres of weeds where the sugar beets were supposed to be.

One blazing hot day, he sent my two older sisters and me out to the field to try to pull out the weeds, to see if we could find any plants. Our shovels and trowels chipped at the dirt.

(Soundbite of shoveling)

Ms. DICKINSON: We were a rag-tag chain gang, the metallic sound of a shovel hitting a rock. I can still hear it.

(Soundbite of shoveling)

Ms. DICKINSON: A while later, my dad walked up to us. We were smeared with dust. Never mind, he said; forget it. And then he threw his pickaxe into the back of the truck and drove away.

SIEGEL: That story about a summer sound came from Amy Dickinson. And you can share your story at npr.org. Please put Summer Sounds in the subject line.

(Soundbite of music)


This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.