The Dairyman’s Legacy

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Elmer and Merle Townsend

(Remembering Mary Ellen Townsend Harris, 1911-2016)

Mary was up early the morning after her parents moved into the trailer across the driveway from her house.  Peeking out the utility room window, she was surprised to see her dad already up, stepping out for a stroll and breath of fresh air.  She’d been concerned about the move being too stressful for them since they were now in their late seventies.

Once Jimmy was off to school Mary checked on Paul, who was sleeping soundly, then returned to the utility room window.  The rising sun burned away a layer of light fog that had shrouded the Massanutten Peak overnight.  Birds twittered and a distant cow bellowed.  Elmer stomped grass from his shoes, then stood erect with his trademark air of dignity as he looked her way.  His receding gray hair was hidden by a casual cap that matched…

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