- Special Sections
Just in case you were hiding under a rock or escaping to deserted island on Sunday evening and didn't watch the Super Bowl game, you missed a good game, but many people watch solely for the commercials.
There were a couple funny ones, and about three very touching ones; but in the Panhandle, one in particular went viral and was posted multiple times on my friends' facebook pages and twitter accounts.
I remember pretty much any time in my younger days that I got in the pickup (which was always a Ford, I might add) with my daddy or when we were heading to town to get groceries as a family, that recognizable voice would come across the radio with "The rest of the story."
I never really paid attention much to what Paul Harvey was saying then, and at that age I didn't really care, but this time, I did listen, and I did care.
He made the speech in 1978 about the farmer, whom is represented by the still frame photos of various individuals that fit the mold better than any I have ever seen in the Dodge Ram commercial that played during the Super Bowl on Sunday with a portion of that speech.
This ad stood apart in contrast to the more loud, silly, and special-effects commercial that were played during the majority of the game breaks, but this commercial, at least of the people I know, spoke the loudest.
There may be some in other locations who don't appreciate it, but the earnest tribute to what is arguably the most vital profession to benefit survival of Americans, was surely appreciated here. If you have ever eaten a salad, burger, or fried chicken, or if you have ever worn a cotton t-shirt, drank a glass of orange juice or red wine, then you should know that the people who made that possible for you are the ones being paid homage to in that that commercial.
The speech was edited down in the commercial, but still represents the gist of the American Farmer that Harvey so wanted to represent in the speech.
The commercial version included these lines:
"And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, 'I need a caretaker.' So, God made a farmer.
God said 'I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.' So, God made a farmer.
God said 'I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And...who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain'n from "tractor back", put in another seventy-two hours.' So, God made a farmer.
God said, 'I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets...and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark.' So, God made a farmer.
It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight...and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed...and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who'd laugh and then sigh...and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life "doing what dad does". So, God made a farmer."
I still remember Grandad driving to our house every day from Amarillo, and making sure I sat on his lap and got the little sucker with a little string-loop at the bottom, called Saf-T-Pops I believe, and then he would go back and hitch up his work truck to the spray trailer and head out to the field to get the weeds out of his wheat.
Then there were the times that he and my dad loaded up all three of us kids and our mom and we would ride side by side on all our horses as we moved cattle to new pasture.
Daddy would stay out until after dark driving the tractor, and in his spare time he would drive out to the fields to check the progress. During the summer he would stay out until the wee hours of the morning watching the custom crews harvest our grain; and during the school year, he would stay out just as late until those school board meetings were over.
He always made sure to put me on a tractor in the sections nobody could see too closely because he indeed plowed deep and straight, but I was little more wobbly at the wheel.
The rough and calloused hands of my Grandad were the first things that came to my mind when those photos came across the screen when watching that commercial back again and again.
As a professional photographer, I'm just as impressed with the true-ness captured by the photographs in the commercial as I was with the composition and production of the commercial as a whole.
There were many things that I and many others in the area can relate to with this ad, and even though the main purpose was to sell a Dodge, I am thoroughly impressed with the tribute that was paid to the farmers, and believe it is well deserved. So well done, Dodge.
So now you have 'the rest of the story'â¦from the Hartland.