Good neighbors

Published 10:54 am Thursday, November 4, 2004

By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - One good turn deserves another.
Even if the first good deed being paid forward occurred in 1991.
Tom Wright, LaGrange Township's last dairy farmer, and neighbor Jim Mesko graduated from Cassopolis High School together almost 50 years ago in 1955.
In 1991, when Mesko suffered a heart attack and was unable to complete his spring planting, Wright was instrumental in organizing farmers to complete the task.
Thursday it was Mesko's turn to repay that never-forgotten kindness.
In September, both Tom and Arlene Wright had extreme medical conditions arise - her heart condition and his stroke, seizure and brain tumor diagnosis, for which he will undergo surgery Nov. 10.
They sold their dairy animals Oct. 6.
Plus, Wright has been sick with worry at how his soybean crop would be harvested, which is why a group of local farmers, grain truck operators and Klug Farm Equipment paid a surprise visit to his fields.
Tom was overcome with emotion as he stepped from the car and recognized all of his neighbors from around the "block."
Shafer's Meat Market of Cassopolis served up a hearty lunch before an afternoon devoted to bringing in 110 acres of beans.
Standing by were trucker Harold Keesler, Ben Waldschmidt, Rodney Waldschmidt, Brian Townsend, Jon Tone of Community Mills, Rick Schantz, Phil Meiser, the father-son team of Bob and Dan Blaske, Jerry Bement and Denise's brother, Steve.
Mesko, who like Meiser also makes maple syrup, said the beans would be trucked to Community Mills in Cassopolis.
Soybeans are used in feed rations and are a good rotation crop because the legume makes its own nitrogen so doesn't require fertilizer.
The Wright's farm on Beeson Street, the white barns down the hill from Guses, is one of the first settled in Cass County.
The soybeans harvested Oct. 29 came from ground rented from the Kidman farm.