A century ago our “hops barn” was in fact used to dry and store hops. Hops have long since passed from the agricultural scene of upstate New York but the name for the building has stuck, at least on our farm. The hops barn currently earns its keep as both shop and storage barn. It is also home to our fleet of freezers where we store some of our meat inventory (we use a freezer warehouse in Utica too).
This is all context to show that when Nyssa, my three year old daughter, showed me this picture and said, “it’s papa in the hops barn,” it was immediately clear she is detail oriented. Clearly those are freezers full of meat on either side of me! Though I have to say, I wonder about the ears. If I were to draw a caricature of myself I’m not sure whether they would be such an emphasized element of my features…
This got me thinking about what a child 120 years ago would have drawn… probably something very similar just with a pile of hops drying over a smokey fire instead of freezers.
Image Credit – Nyssa Alden
Photo Credits – Edmund Brown and Normandy Alden