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In terms of time, twenty-five years is but a mere speck, but in terms of one's life, twenty­ five years is a great big chunk. My husband and I have just completed twenty-five years as poultry farmers here in New Jersey, and I could write reams about that experience.

To start, I for one never knew there was such a thing as a poultry farm. As a matter of fact, farms in general had about no meaning for me. But when I visited this area for the first time I said to myself, "How quiet and peaceful, how charming!" Ah, me.

What made us come here and live this life? My husband's nightmares were the result of his experiences in Poland during the holocaust. He was the sole survivor of a good and large family, and coping with his memories was horrendous. Many, many people said, "He should be outdoors where the fresh air will do wonders for him. He'll sleep well; his dreams will disappear". This line of reasoning I can now refute, but at that time I was willing to try.

When we arrived here at the northern end of Dover Township , there was just a house on our land, and we started from scratch.  We learned the hard way about hatcheries, feed companies, lawyers; we bad no telephone for three months and were happy to get an eight party line; no car for a year and a half; no nothing but work on top of unaccustomed physical work. And I for one met what to me was a different kind of Jew, Jews who were not interested in the religious aspect of Judaism, but who called themselves "Yiddishists." They were a bright, interesting group, very articulate in a language they handled well, and in fact, I learned to speak Yiddish out here. At that time

,there was no rift between the Toms River Community Of Jewish Farmers and the Shul. There was, in fact, just the Community. We had wonderful neighbors, the Lians, the Dubrows and the Finkelsteins. It was the first time in my life that I had lived among Jews, where  all my neighbors were Jewish; the Winters, the Suchmans, Garsons, Relters, Newfields , Meyers, Schwartzes, Goldschmidts and Cutlers. Almost without exception they were helpful and generous. It was surprisingly a very comfortable feeling and thinking about them I miss those who are gone, sorely.

I remember men who were nothing short of brilliant, who, with the proper training could have been earth shakers; men like Henry Pyenson. I remember Irving Kantor, who was so effective as an organizer.  And I met farmers who raised magnificent families despite the fact that they lived in the hinterlands, without the so-called advantages. I think of one family in particular not too far from us, who raised three wonderful sons, all of them professional men and good family men. Those boys used to help vaccinate chickens for us and for others, and obviously it didn't hurt them a bit.

The story of the hired help situation I'm saving for a book. It should make me a million, but as a friend of mine said, "Wait 'til you have more perspective, Beck, and then it should be a riot." I think of writing such a book, and wonder if anyone would believe the stories I have to tell. I think of the wife of an extremely successful cabinet maker not far from here who, upon hearing that I lived and worked on a farm, pointed a finger at me and said, "You, you a farmer!" That was a real jarring of the ego, and I wondered if I should have bad horns.  I remember working in a law office In Lakewood (to augment family income, of course) and seeing, at the beginning, the purchase of farms by the hundreds , and then, sadly, the crash, when families walked off and left their property to the feed companies, and sometimes to others who should have done better. 

And I remember happier times, the birth of my daughters, the Leonard Max Baer Day Camp - then terribly good - where my girls learned to be top swimmers, and I feel their love of this area. Whenever I plan a visit to my family I say, "I'm going home." But to them this is home. Not only do they love it here, but strangely enough their friends who come to visit love it too.  They too must find it quiet, peaceful, even charming .

Would we do this again? Given the knowledge that we have today, I doubt it. I am sure there are other ways of overcoming the problems we had. But the whole experience has not been without its advantages.  The dreams have quieted, our family is almost grown, and we have done our job well - I hope.

Mrs. Jules Lacher