Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › The Front Porch › In Memorium › Ann Hawthorne
- December 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm #44336imported_StellaParticipant
> It is with great sadness that I report the sudden passing of a dear friend and inspiring teamster, Ann Hawthorne last week. Her brutally honest observations of herself and the world around her were refreshing and thought provoking, and were softened by her laughter and an encouraging reminder that we’re all struggling with our own challenges toward our own hopes and dreams.
> When I met Ann in the late 1990’s she was an aspiring teamster. She was living in southern NH and didn’t have room for horses but had decided that she wanted to learn about them, so she attended a Fair Winds Draft Horse Workshop. We’ve seen folks of all descriptions walk through those doors – and it is only a modest percentage that continue the dream of having a team to it’s fruition. During that first workshop everyone took turns with a (walking cultivator or was it a plow?) on Sunday morning. That thing threw Ann on the ground so hard! She got up and kept at it, in retrospect I wonder if that moment sealed her commitment to see this thing through?
> She kept sight of her dream, returning for workshops and our annual gathering each year to get her hands on the lines and get a little more experience. She and her beloved husband Peter looked all over Vermont and New Hampshire for just the right place ending up in Lancaster, NH on the sweetest land that you ever saw. With pastures and a lovely stream, woods and open space, hills and flat parts, it is little piece of heaven. She bought a team of Suffolks – though I have to say that her strong personality didn’t mix too well with that of Bob (now owned by Brad Johnson). I’m not sure if they were too much alike or just couldn’t relate to one another, but my folks traded him for an older mare who seemed a good match for Hosmer.
> The three of them – Ann and her team clicked like they were all made for each other and Ann was off and running (so to speak – Sam Rich would appreciate their pace, I think) with Peter along side to help unclog the mower and shovel the manure into the spreader. Ever diligent about caring for her land, Ann took the team out to clip pastures regularly after they were grazed and spread the winter’s manure pile each spring. She had a sleigh built and developed her own sleigh ride business for local folks and visitors from away who returned each year.
> I must pause here to point out that it isn’t every draft horse person who has a spouse who is willing to pitch in (literally & figuratively). Ann was unabashedly devoted to her husband and any time she mentioned his name she would cast her eyes heavenward as she added her signature line, “bless his heart”. She was eternally grateful for his support and his love. I got a wonderful sense for what she saw in him in a recent conversation when he explained his role in her draft horse endeavor: “When you help someone else follow their passion, you are the one who gets the biggest benefit – of watching that joy unfold.”
> Ann & Peter (bless his heart) hosted a Winter Gathering to share their place for a great meal and fellowship with other teamsters and draft horse folks. Ann was a contributor to the Women’s Teamster Forum at the Northeast Animal Power Field Days in Tunbridge, humbly offering her experience as a “later in life” arrival to the passion and realities of working with draft animals.
> Ann’s tenacity and wry sense of humor, her caring touch and generous spirit will be greatly missed. Our prayers and deepest sympathies go out to Peter and their kids & grandchildren. A memorial service is being planned for next summer.
-Rebekah BaileyDecember 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm #76414Carl RussellModerator
Thanks for sharing that Beckah. I too was struck by Ann’s stick-to-it-tiveness. We enjoyed her contributions to the logging weekend here at our farm when we first met her, and were always appreciative of her staunch support of NEAPFD.
She was one of those souls meant to work with horses, and I know that she spent the last 20 years making her life what she wanted it to be. A great example.
RIP Ann, CarlJanuary 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm #76415imported_StellaParticipant
Ann, I never knew you, but I did.
Pete explained you to me – in so many words.
He said, “Ann can’t stand hypocrisy”
or words to that effect.
I have to quote him right,
for your editing spirit
will hold me to account.
Maybe I should paraphrase:
Pete said something to this effect —
That you couldn’t stomach hypocrites:
you precisely punctuated their beings;
you put commas to those
who had a chance to change,
periods to those who couldn’t,
exclamations to those who wouldn’t,
and question marks to none.
Or with your beloved horses
you would run them over
or plow them under to lie dormant
and await your spring to sprout
into beings worthy of your care.
Ann, I never knew you but I did.
Pete lovingly explained you to me.
Goodbye – for now.
Curtis L. Williams
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