Bryon Smith

That's me (to the left) (somewhere near 1960) seated upon a cow pony named Roger.  This was taken on grandpa John Smith's farm.  People frequently ask me about the story and where my ideas come from. Many of my best ideas come from my memories of this farm.  As you read about Megan's grandma Martha's farm it is based on this farm you see in the picture.

Martha's farm is on "Peaceful Pond" and the state is not mentioned for a reason.  Neither is the city where Megan lives.  But the real farm is at Green Pond and is located in Pike County, IL.

The camera is facing west.  The house to to the camera's right and the chicken yard and south forty are to the left.  The pump house and another shed is behind the camera person.

In the story you read about Megan having a secret hiding place in the barn. You can see the barn behind me and yes way up high in the back of the barn I had stacked some bail's of hay and made myself a fort.

In the story you read about the barn lot where Megan's pony Sparky lives and the barn lot is connected to the barn and directly behind me.  Megan and her friends frequently lean against the fence or set upon the horse watering tank.  You can't see it here because it is directly behind me but you can see the barn lot fence.

In novel #6 you will read about their new helper Ray Thompson who throws hay from the loft window into the barn lot for Sparky.  You can't see the barn loft window in this picture because the door is closed.  You can see a pointed thing sticking up above Roger's neck and that's where the barn loft door is located.  The yard gate is behind Roger's head near that bush you see by the fence.

You see another shed on the south side of this picture and let's face it in real life this was a manger shed for the birthing and feeding of livestock.  All I can ever remember in that shed was a lot of really old things that were old when I was a kid.  The north side of the shed was filled with the old junk but the south side was open toward the south allowing the animals to come in and eat from the feeder or to get out of the weather.  In the story the lot connected to this shed is the one I call the "Horse Lot" where Mr. Butler keeps his horses.

Grandpa John Smith

Was a farm veterinarian.  He farmed somewhere near 100 acres on his farm and had livestock such as cattle, pigs, chickens and of course the two cow pony's Roger and Goldie.   He cared for many sick animals and of course gave them their shots.  A lot of the time me, my brother and sisters would help.

A cow pony isn't as large as a horse but it is larger than a Shelton pony.  Sometimes people would call them Indian ponies.  Goldie was the mare and was larger than Roger.

I would love to tell you more about the farm, the chicken yard and outhouse is to the south or left of this picture.  There's another shed there not in this picture and in the story I use this shed for the shop and it's where Megan keeps her little Cub Cadet tractor.  Of which I do I have a picture of the tractor and wagon.

At the south edge of the chicken yard make a hard left and you will run right into the gate to the pig pin where May transports into the hog wallow and gets all muddy while Megan laughs at her and the old sow pig grunts and wonders what's going on.

Carolyn & Roger

In this picture you see my older sister Carolyn on Roger and in the background you can see the barn door is open.  If you look really close over Roger's hind-end and through the boards in the fence you can see the horse water tank on the far side of the fence.

I'm going to do a search and also ask my younger sister Gina who's place of business is also mentioned in the novel series "A Hairazor" in Jacksonville, IL if she can locate more pictures of the farm for me.

I am sad to say that this farm would still be in the family had certain people not decided to sell it against our wishes.

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