When I saw that sign, I chuckled, "There's a story there--my kind." Long ago, I learned if one wants to make a friend, write nice things about him. This I did with James, a character extraordinary.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.
by Oscar Roloff
When you look closely at Jim Roetcisoender's face in the photo, you'll see a grin. He's that kind of guy.
I'd been out there studying those farmers and ascertained that such people close to nature associated with animals have an understanding and an insight that allows them to see far beyond those who live in cities.
Another plaudit is that when it comes to contracts or agreements among one another, a firm handshake closes the deal. Never a problem.
I look at them and realize that it is people like them who have helped to make America great.
I sat at his table and listened to how he runs his farm. Years earlier, Jim, now 64, was drafted into the Korean War, as were most of those young farm men out there. When his Pop ran the farm during WW II, his workers were exempt. When it came to the Korean War, his son (James) was not exempt.
One son, Jamey, helps his Pa full time and lives next door. Other son Janson, who lives nearby, works part time.
James lives in the house where he was born. Years earlier, his parents Heilke and Francis had lived there and ran the farm. His Pa died when James was in Korea.
"How about that sign in front of your place?" I asked.
He grinned and said, "We have no problem out here."
Past his home are three other houses, and the road ends there. At one time, the three were occupied by members of his kin. Now his cousin, Mae Koster, is the only related one.
How is he doing? Well, they have a winter home in Mexico, a mint farm elsewhere, and they travel to countries in Europe quite often.
He has a 120-acre spread, 600 or more cattle, with 200 of them kept at Ward Roney's farm. James said he loves it out there where it is peaceful and quiet.
Now to the important point: Does he give of himself to the community of Duvall?
Well, he's founder and a director of the Valley Community Bank at Duvall, has been a member of the Riverview School Board for 13 years, and when there's an emergency, he's the first to arrive. The last emergency was the great flood, when he didn't have far to go. His house was ready to take off down the river.
He's my kind of a man, one to be commended. Never met his wife, Noma. She was out playing golf.