The barns of Warwick

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build it." - Sam Rayburn WARWICK-A city slicker may look at a barn and see only a building that needs the mice and snakes shooed out of it. Or he might see it as nothing more than the guts of a future house and think of hiring an architect to draw up plans. Or he might not see it at all. But those who grew up on the farms around Warwick n they see a barn through different eyes. A farmer sees a silo that sits empty in spring and knows the satisfaction that comes when it is filled, grain by grain, until it becomes an inundation. His son sees the memory of his youth, when he sneaked behind the barn for a smoke or a peek at a girlie magazine while he was supposed to be mucking out the stalls. His daughter feels the fleeting sadness of finding a dead sparrow behind the cobwebs in a dark corner near the calves' pen. His wife recalls the effort it took to bite her tongue when her husband traipsed across the newly mopped kitchen floor in his barn boots. They can smell the closed, musty aroma of hay and the sweetness of freshly drawn milk. They can hear the clop of hooves as the herd comes in for the day, each cow finding her own stall with unerring memory. They hear the slap of a farmhand on a cow's flank. Fewer barns dot our landscape now. The barns are coming down as developments rise in their place. New lives are being lived, new memories forming. But the barns that are left still draw the eye of the old-timers. They stand in mute testimony to a way of life that is slowly disappearing. When you pass by, try to hear their voices.