By Jim Hunt
I can’t remember the first time that I cut the grass at my childhood home, but it was the
beginning of a lifelong love of a freshly cut lawn. We had a red Briggs and Stratton mower that
cut a swath of about 20 inches wide. I would try to keep the lines straight and not throw any
grass on the sidewalk. I don’t know if my mother or dad appreciated the care that I put into the
job, but it didn’t even feel like a chore to me. I would usually do the grass on Saturday
mornings, and it would take about two hours to do it right. My dad would tell me about how he
cut his grass with a push mower and never had the “modern” convenience of a gasoline mower.
After several years of only mowing our yard, I was asked by my Aunt Rose if I would cut her
grass. She would pay me six or seven dollars and as much iced tea as I wanted. I couldn’t
believe that she would pay me that much for something I loved to do. Her yard was a lot
steeper that mine and I had to put a rope on the handle in order to cut the bank in front of her
house. As the news spread of my willingness to cut grass and the neatness that I employed, I
soon had several yards to cut.
My mother told me about two sisters who lived across the street from one another on
Washington Avenue in Clarksburg, who needed someone to cut their grass. They had beautiful
lawns and when I was done mowing, it looked like something out of Better Homes and
Gardens. I think that was when I really learned how nice a yard could look and the importance
of edging and trimming the shrubs. I think the sisters were in competition with each other and
they would always be adding something that the other one did not have.
When I finally got married and had my own yard, I tried to duplicate some of the yards that I
had admired and realized how hard it was to make them look good. It was about that time that
weed eaters became popular and I would edge along the sidewalk and really loved how it
looked. Being a little OCD, I would often edge my neighbor’s sidewalks because I wanted it to
look like everyone on the street cared as much as I did about the grass but few people did and I
think my neighbor was a little upset that I had overstepped my properly line and infringed on
their unruly lawn.
I now have a large yard and invested in a riding mower to complete the task of lawn mowing. As
anyone who owns a riding mower knows, it is one of the joys of life. I sometimes will cut my
grass each week, whether it needs it or not. My wife makes fun of me, but it is one of the most
enjoyable things I do. I have also purchased a blower and a wheeled weed eater that allows me
to trim along the ditch line and when it is done, it resembles Augusta during Master’s Week.
After 60 years, I still enjoy cutting the grass and admiring it after it is done. I’m sure one of
these days, I’ll find some entrepreneurial young lad who is looking to make a few bucks and let
him take over the grass cutting duties, but for now, I still spend my Saturdays on my Cub Cadet,
riding up and down the yard in search of the perfect line!