Sow: cotton field

Tonight the Gs had a playdate and we learned about our neighborhood.

We were all outside sitting on the patio, enjoying a glass of wine when the Gs all ran inside, barking.

Before I knew it, Bruce had our neighbor Fred and his dog named Sue (a male Vizla, named after the Johnny Cash song) out back to hang out with us.

While Sue’s about a year old and we’ve watched him grow up from a tiny, lanky pup, Fred’s lived here since 1966. He bought his lot in 1965 when it was part of the Cox farm and getting developed. We even now know where the homestead was (unfortunately it’s been torn down and replaced by three mini-mansions).

Tonight Fred told us that our house and his (just down the street) were built on cotton fields! We had no idea that cotton was being grown so close to the center of Dallas as late as the mid-1960s. That means our trees are not as old as we thought.

Fred also shared with us that he was an International Harvester farm equipment dealer. He admired the urban farm and asked where we got the stock tanks. He was happy to hear that we make the trip to Tractor Supply Company for some of our needs instead of buying stuff at the garden center.

He’s a great neighbor and wealth of information about the neighborhood since he’s been here since the beginning. And he welcomed us newcomers with open arms.

We invited Fred and Sue to our annual Boxing Day party. We have never met Mrs. Fred, although tonight he mentioned her and his son too. Fred had an awesome time, but he said that Sue was not “ready for prime time” so he didn’t come along to the party, much to the disappointment of the other 11 dogs attending.

Tonight, Fred told us about where many of our neighborhood live oaks came from: him. You see around the time they built DFW airport, there was a tree farm that was shutting down. Live oaks were ten cents on the dollar, so Fred filled one of his dealership’s 18-wheelers with young trees, grabbed his back hoe, and planted trees on his street in 1966. His street is cool and green all summer.

Fred’s the reason this neighborhood was so appealing to us. Mature trees made a difference. They reminded us if Canada. And we told him so. He was rather tickled, I think.

But the star of tonight’s show was Sue. At first he was a bit shy, but he and Godiva are already pals since Fred and Bruce had them meet when Sue was a pup. The boys were a bit brutish with him, but within minutes they were all running around and wrestling in the dog park part of the urban farm.

The Gs and Sue will all sleep well tonight!

Because the dogs all had so much fun, Fred and Sue will be back soon, hopefully next Friday night. Maybe Fred will sit for longer and tell us stories. I want to learn more about the neighborhood–I hope Fred will let me interview him so I can document the history.

And Fred’s yard is on our neighborhood garden tour which is happening in a few weeks. Of course, I’d love to see it.

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