Saturday, August 11, 2007

Somewhere Down Rosemary Road...

Chances are the second and third generations of Kyser Farms are tending catfish right now!

Following in his father’s footsteps, Bill Kyser heads the family-owned business, and it’s a round-the-clock lifestyle. A typical day might bring Bill home around 9:30 p.m. to eat supper after a grueling day digging trenches. Water must be diverted during this summer’s extreme drought. Youngest son Ashley will be up at 2:30 a.m. to check ponds, and oldest son Townsend will be out by 4:30 to help harvest fish.

Meanwhile, Bill’s wife, Beverly, will care for their 10-month-old granddaughter (the fourth generation) in the morning. The previous day, she bush-hogged bone-dry grass in preparation for the possible arrival of a congressman who wanted to tour the catfish industry.

She is the same woman who willingly left big, modernized Birmingham more than three decades ago to marry a fish farmer, only to discover they had no phone line for their first house!

“I thought, oh my goodness, where have I moved?” she laughs now. The area was just too rural for the phone company to extend a private line any time soon. But she adjusted, and Beverly says the farm isn’t just about their own livelihood or the satisfaction that came from raising their family here. “Bill is one of the most unselfish people I know and tries to do what is right for everyone.”

That's why the Kysers aren't just in the community but are part of the community, both farm-wise and town-wise. These quintessential Southerners use their gift of hospitality to open their home and hearts to neighbors, congressmen and roaming busybodies like me!

PHOTO: The Kysers together

Helen asked about the term "bush-hogged." The word is taken from Bush Hog, a company that invented a mower for pastures. So, if I go "bush-hog" the back 40, I'm gonna go mow with a big cutter behind a tractor!


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a tough yet satisfying life. Will be glad when this long, hot summer turns to fall.

Janet said...

Anonymous, thanks for visiting. It is a hot summer! 102 degrees here today and more of the same tomorrow.

Issy said...

I feel I'd like to meet these charming down to earth people... I always thought Southern hospitality was overrated until I moved to Kentucky... I had my mind changed quickly for me! While it's not quite catfish country, I do love it here and enjoy Southern cooking!

Helen said...

"Bush-hogged" Never heard of this before, what does it mean? I am from the South, but I'm proud city gal!

Janet said...

Hi Issy, so you are in KFC Country (Kentucky Fried Chicken OR Kentucky Fried Catfish)!
I'd love some of your southern cooking recipes.

Janet said...

Hi Helen. Thanks for visiting. Bush-hogged means to mow a lot of ground with big blades behind a tractor. "Bush-hog" became a household (or shall we shall "outdoor") word around here since the The bush hog was invented in Selma, Alabama, at a company appropriately named Bush Hog! It is essentially an agricultural implement used by farmers to mow pasture or the grass around catfish ponds. There is now a Bush Hog plant near the southeastern Kentucky border...near Johnson City, Tenn. The headquarters is still in Selma.

Anonymous said...

Bill and Bevo are some of the finest people I know. Not only does Bevo do all that was described...she also helped this friend in need when I undertook a project beyond my limits...Bevo, along with Anne Jay, Paula Jones, Mary Anna Williams, all brought their sewing machines over and helped me finish 11 small quilts for the senior football players...now is that great friends or what? :)