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Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairy.

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Another pint? I asked a friend of mine. He said he better not, because he had to paint his house the next day. I mentioned that a little home improvement was great to spruce up a place. He said his house was going to be torn down in a few months.

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The following isn’t going to be easy to read. If your initial impression is that it doesn’t belong in a farming magazine, there was a time I probably would have agreed with you. I hope you can see why I changed my mind.

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Gestur was a quiet man. When you said something, his face lit up and it was apparent he cared about what you were saying, but his own sentences were short and direct. Eventually, I lost the urge to fill the silences and settled comfortably into reticence as we moved between his barns.

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Given the nature of farming, it doesn’t typically lead to a life of notoriety. Between milking, feeding and fieldwork, there isn’t much time to become a household name or stay in the public’s eye.

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Ireland, until about the 1940s or so.

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Whenever my father needed to motivate himself while working on the farm, he would say, “Come on, man, rock ’n’ roll.” All day, he passed between feeding something, milking something or doing some sort of fieldwork, and if you were around and listened, you would eventually hear Rick Dennis tell himself to rock ’n’ roll.

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