A reflective day in Prince George. It is late spring and today will be sunny and perhaps in the 8os. We have not had much sun in the last three weeks and sweaters have been the garment of choice. So a day like today could be about getting out the mower and snips to tackle the yard, which is likely to happen at the Woodward estate later today.
Why the reflection? A county icon has passed … Ben Kanak. Ben was a second generation American farmer and businessman who, until late Fall, had still farmed the same farm he had inherited from his immigrant parents. Born in 1922, Ben had ten siblings, all of whom he had survived. He had survived his devoted wife, many decades his junior. Ben was part of the flora and fauna of Prince George County. It is hard to imagine the county without him in it.
He joins the other icons Henry Parker, Sam Bland, the Burens, Martin Robertson, John Minor, and Dennis Sebera, in being memories in our midst.
I thought of Ben almost daily because his farm is on the road between our home and the courthouse area of the county (we don’t have any cities or towns in Prince George) and because I know his 90 year old father-in-law and wife. Whenever I passed his farm, I scoped out the fields to determine if he was out driving one of the large farm machines he piloted, or to see what he had planted. Now, I pass his farm expecting to see him plowing or checking his mailbox near the road. Now, I pass his farm wondering what will happen to his beloved ‘Century Farm’ in this era of corporate farming and Youtube, and Starbucks.
Those who leave memories are still among us.