Alvin Meyer, 1984

A lifelong resident of Champaign County, Alvin Meyer worked as a farmhand "out where Country Fair is now. All there is now are the old farmhouse and silo. It's built up all around," he remembered in the early 1980s. Among his many chores he says, "I drove cattle to the barn to milk." However, he was especially interested in horses. "I once trained a horse for a sulky. I had to put him into a pace - took him down a country road. That's hard to do." "I was always thinking about ridin' horses. I always liked horses. My dad had two. I used to ride them to school and to church. That was when horses had the right of way. Cars had to get off the slab and let the horses go by. "I had a horse where I taught him how to dance - he had a diamond on his forehead. I used to be able to stand on a horse. Used to ride two harnessed horses down a country road - just tear down the road!" When the farmer he worked for died "way back when" Alvin had to leave the farm. He has since worked as a roofer, busboy at the Pullman Hotel, Lindales (now Red Wheel), the Moose Lodge, and the Inman Hotel. "I done a little cookin', and was a bellhop, dishwasher, potwasher - pretty near everything. "I also worked on construction, mixing concrete. Last job I had was in Chanute pourin' concrete for that big runway." Even with his varied experiences he says, "I like to think back about the farm. All you'd hear is the birds and the livestock hollerin'. It was so quiet." About his age he said in 1984, "There are a lot of things I can't do now. I can still ride though."

Source: Raymond Bial, There is a Season, Champaign County Nursing Home, 1984.