Farmington man reflects on his 75 years

FARMINGTON – Glen Farmer has seen a lot of miles and met a lot of people in his 75 years. He’d start his day walking through his back yard to get the company truck to head out on the road for deliveries.

Farmer, who has lived in West Farmington his whole life, drove a fuel truck for a living. He still drives a truck part-time for a construction company when his knee is limber enough.

Farmer, a family man at heart, said he went to work as a truck driver in 1946 for a Farmington fuel company. He didn’t have to go through a truck driving course back then, they just put “you in the truck.”

“I went with one of the old drivers on one trip,” Farmer said. “He said, ‘you’re all set.'”

And with that, he was on his own.

“I spent more than 42 years hauling from Portland to filling stations,” he said. He hauled oil in the early years and mostly gasoline after that.

“I saw a lot of miles and met a lot of people,” Farmer said. “I’ve really seen an awful lot of change in the roads. When I first was driving down in Portland, they didn’t salt or sand the roads. It was a learning experience. I was fortunate I didn’t have to commute to work. I just walked across the field and got in the truck.”

Back in the early days, Farmer said, he sometimes worked long hours. In winter, he would work 80 to 90 hours a week delivering heating fuel.

“We were paid by the trip, not by the hour,” he said. He would make two to three trips a day.

“My wife never knew when I was going to be home,” he said. And with eight children to raise, he needed to work, he said.

The love of his life, Eletrice, his wife of 57 years, died a year ago last March. Farmer was watering large potted flowers Wednesday that he plans to put on her grave on Memorial Day. There were also flowers for his son, David Farmer of Farmington, who died last fall at 47 from a fast moving cancer. The committal service for his son is Saturday.

A tear escaped Farmer’s eye as he sat down to talk at the kitchen table. He took care of his wife for three years before she died from complications of diabetes.

“She done quite a job bringing up the kids,” Farmer said. “She was a home mother.”

She made all their clothing, he said, and didn’t go out to do hair dressing until the children were older.

Farmer got up and went into the dining room and came back and set a photo of their eight children taken after their mother’s funeral.

“Quite a bunch of them; they’re all good kids,” he said.

In a library and along a back hallway, a gallery of family photos line the walls. More pictures of great-grandchildren set on a table yet to be hung.

Despite his years on the road and raising a large family, Farmer still had time to volunteer on the local fire departments.

The town recently named the dirt road that leads to the oil plant behind Farmer’s house Farmer Lane.

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