When are you leaving? they been asking me for months now.
Oh, about a week, I've been saying for months.
Last Saturday morning I sat having coffee at Mosswood Market when it finally became farewell. The night before, a friend brought a CD featuring Richard Pryor's original standup genius and we had to heat the disc over the bonfire to convince the Bosch power box to read it. The bonfire — one year's worth of empty Pabst Blue Ribbon boxes that had accumulated behind the notorious freezer and refrigerator where the Farm's customers picked up half gallon jars of milk or packs of wrapped frozen beef.
Why did you get kicked out of Boont Berry Farm? they all asked.
I didn't want to go public with it until my teenage son and I and our two dogs were safely headed east for Indiana. I wanted to wait until the last cows were shipped out to good homes. The real story is that my little milk and beef business was even more illegal than the pot gardens that inundate our beloved emerald land. State agencies were breathing down my neck and it was only the diplomatic genius of our new supervisor, Dan Hamburg, making good on his promise to support local food production, that prevented the state from seizing the cows and possibly hauling me off in cuffs. Hamburg's brilliant negotiations afforded me enough breathing room, six month's worth, to find good homes for my favorite milk cows and their spry daughters. Winks and handshakes grease the wheels in this crazy world and sarcastic sons of bitches like me would be hung without the smooth soliloquies of career politicians. Thanks, Dan.
Thanks also to all the people who contributed to the farm over a decade. Rob and Barbara Goodell, Regina Schwenter, Burt Cohen, Frank Zappa — the list could go on indefinitely. In lieu of a comprehensive account that would resemble our Anderson Valley phone directory, a group of local talents collaborated to produce a Youtube video that aims to lay out the grave and real dangers of raw milk. After months of pulling out my hair, facilitating the filming, I am looking forward to farming again, possibly at the birthplace of Spec MacQuayde, in the Boonville-esque village of Vallonia, Indiana, where the Hoosier hills envelope a sand dune paradise infamous for the sweetest watermelons east of the Mississippi.
A standing ovation is due to poor Tim Glidewell who patiently filmed and edited our shenanigans for the meager compensation of a quarter of beef. We call the video “Boonville Milkman.”