The last time I saw John Boughen
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John at the ploughing match.
The last time I saw John Boughen was Saturday October 6, 2012 at the plowing match held on the Boughen's home farm at Dale Corners.
I didn't realise then that I would never see him again.
We both lived in this area all our lives, but, he being three-and-a-half years younger than I, we never met in high school. We didn't bump into each other until the 2005 Port Hope reunion. I liked him right away.
John was big, with a warm heart to match, good-natured and engagingly earnest, a born farmer with a head full of the history of his farm and family. He must have known all there is to know about farming and the sometimes sordid politics that go with it.
He and brother Dwayne worked hard together to preserve the the family farm that made possible the kind of life they loved: for each other, for themselves, in memory of their father, and for those who would follow.
John loved to tell stories. I sometimes called him Long John, because he was tall, but mostly because he never made a long story short. And you didn't want him to, as anybody who had the pleasure of talking with him face-to-face or on the phone can confirm.
He was a generous booster of over the years. I remain grateful for that.
As we sat on a bale of straw, John told me he had cancer and that it had spread to his bones. He said his doctor thought there was an outside chance he could live another five years, but it turned out that nine months was all the time he had left.
Now he's gone. His family, friends and all of Port Hope and Hope Township have lost a good man. I'll miss him.
Requiescat in pace John. You did well.

In memory of John, here are some pictures I took on that cold blustery day in October.
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Lunch ladies for the 1912 ploughing match at the Boughen farm.
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