|My grandfather Fieldon Tipton with his favorite hog (the one his has his right hand on)|
My father grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina. His family left their hillbilly haven in 1930 or thereabouts when my father was a mere ten years old. One thing my father said he always remembered from his childhood was the annual slaughter of a hog in the fall to store that meat for the winter. Since there was no refrigeration (or electricity or indoor plumbing) this was the main source of their family's protein during the cold winter months.
My father finished his childhood on his Uncle Don Byrd's farm in southern Chester County (Pennsylvania), along with his ten brothers, picking fruit and vegetables. Yep, he and his brothers were cheap farm labor. That was the way of the world back in the Depression of the Thirties.
In 1940 he got a job at the local steel mill. Met my Mom and then I happened (born in 1941). But all during those years my father had a yearning to have his own pig or pigs. Brought back the childhood memories I guess.
In the late Sixties he realized his dream and built a pig pen on his three acres of land in East Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania. He bought a half a dozen piglets and raised them. His favorite was one he called "Rosebud." He is pictured below with Rosebud.
|"Pop" (my father) with "Rosebud."|
We all enjoyed raising the pigs. And you may not know this but pigs have personalities, similar to other domestic pets like cats and dogs. And pigs are actually smart, really.
|Miss Piggy - a very famous smart pig|
The ramp was attached to the pig pen. Rosebud and the other pigs were ushered up the ramp into the back of the truck to their fate. Reality strikes.
About ten days later Rosebud return. Actually, part of Rosebud return in the form o frozen pork chops, bacon, and scrapple. Later the ham would return after it was cured.
Now the next question is "Did we eat Rosebud?"
I remember specifically asking as my Mom set a plate of fried pork chops down in front of me "Is this Rosebud?" My father said "Yep!"
Reluctantly I took my knife and fork and cut into the "Rosebud" pork chop. Well, I have to tell you it was the tastiest pork chop I ever ate. But I also have to tell you, I didn't feel good about this. I felt like a cannibal.
So the moral of this tale is, if you raise pigs don't eat them.