Thursday, April 26, 2018

Boer (Farmer) Peer

Peer (Petrus) Smulders was born shortly after the First World War, and never moved from the family farm since. He grew up in a family with four sisters; one became a sister in a monastery in Schijndel, with which she became the pride of the Catholic family.
There was also an older brother, but he died as a toddler from measles. Peer thus grew up as the only son on the farm. His parents were strict, and he was obedient. Before he cycled to school, little Peer had been plowing the land for two hours. They kept cows, some horses, and they grew some corn.
Peer soon knew no better than that he would run this family business for the rest of his life. "If I can no longer care for my cows, I do not have to be here anymore," he said. His parents both died in their eighties, but that was already in 1955 in 1956, more than sixty years ago. Pear was left alone on the farm.
Time stood still since then. For him no large-scale farming, milking robots, or other modernities. Smulders continued to care for his red/white cows in 2017, just as he did in the fifties. He fed them with a prong to eat silage, cleared their manure with a big shovel, and drove the manure to the heap with a wheelbarrow.
Peer was a content, old-fashioned man. He cared for his cattle, read the local weekly newspaper and crept close to the wood stove in the evening. In that life there was no place for a woman, even though he would have liked to meet 'the real one'. Then they could have had sons together, to take over the farm.
Peer Smulders was born on May 19, 1920 in Maliskamp (Netherlands) and he died on July 8, 2017 in Maliskamp.

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