Tim Little was a horse farmer two miles down the road from the dairy (and at one time a neighbor on Turner road). Wayne would ride his bike over to Tim’s to work. To say Tim took Wayne under his wing is the understatement of the century. Through Tim, Wayne learned to rake hay, make small square bales and about the different varieties, textures and nuances of “horse hay.” Hay may have been the subject matter, but the lessons were deeper and longstanding. Tim was a stickler for finishing a job well and treating your equipment as well as the superstar horses in the barn.
Wayne’s earliest memory of Tim is from age 7 or 8, Tim shook his finger at Wayne and said “We’ll get you away from those cows someday.”
By the time I met Tim for the first time I was equal parts excited and nervous. It was like having a relationship with Prince Harry then getting to meet the Queen, hoping for the stamp of approval. I’m pretty sure it went something like “you better keep him in line”. (My now husband is the most regulated rule book follower around. He’s NEVER gotten a speeding ticket and was only pulled over once...in a tractor....).
I’ll never forget the first time I passed Timmy on the road in my car and he waved. I felt like I had been welcomed into the royal family. I’m a truck geek I knew it was his truck with the Little signature headache rack from half a mile away, but when he knew my Jetta it was an honor as if the Queen herself had given me a wave.
Most of my visits with Tim were in a field. Usually both of us in trucks, windows down, on hot dry summer hay days discussing wagons, hay quality, what time the old man started baling and making sure we hadn’t raked the leaves off the alfalfa. He was a good negotiator he’d always try to beat me up on price but the only one more stubborn than he is Wayne.
When we weren’t discussing hay we were discussing business, the future of farming in Saratoga County, education and the allergy to work of many in the next generation.
Tim had a keen sense of business and family dynamics and his perspective was always helpful, intuitive and supportive. He asked the questions that made you find a solution. His questions can be held responsible for guiding the road we have taken.
There are people in our lives that we can’t imagine life without. Thursday afternoon his daughter Sam sent me a message that he had lost his battle.
I’m not one to be speechless. But I was.
My heart broke for His tenacious, fierce, smart, strong, capable, talented wife Anne. I’ve always aspired to be Anne when I grew up. Whenever Tim spoke of Anne you could see just how proud of her he was in his eyes. His right hand girl and he knew what a gift she was. Working day in and day out with your spouse brings harder struggles than many couples ever face, but oh the joys that can come from being in the trenches with your best friend.
In these parts we normally celebrate July 4th in a hay field. Maybe this July 4th we will all have to hose down our tractors and balers at the end of the day in honor of the one who taught us to finish a job the right way, his.