Remembering a Farmer...Bob Breed
by Embrace Country Life on 11/21/18
It is with a very heavy hard that I write this blog tonight. Our dear friend, Bob Breed passed away last week. He was our neighbor, a friend, a farmer, and our daughters' bus driver throughout all their years of elementary school. In fact, he drove a school bus for the Vestal School District for 56 years! Yes, you read that correctly, 56 years as a bus driver!
Bob retired in June 2017. We planned a big parade for his final run. There were people, signs, and balloons lining his bus route up Tracy Creek Rd, the same road his farm was on. He even had a police escort. As he had done for 56 years, when his run was over, he pulled his bus in next to his barn. We celebrated his retirement with cupcakes, stories, and two news crews. It was an amazing day and I know Bob felt the love of all of us. I also created a scrapbook with all the memories that people sent me over Facebook. They were great and Bob read them and laughed. He was tough...old school.. but so loved and respected by all the children.
Every once in a while one of our own kindergarteners would fall asleep on the bus at the end of the day and Bob would carry her to me so she could continue her nap. Our daughters remember receiving flowers on Valentine's day (the boys got candy). Bob also provided ice pops on the last day of school.
Bob loved driving the bus for Vestal and he also loved farming. The Breed Farm established in 1941 (the date proudly painted on his barn) has been a focal point of Tracy Creek Road. When Bob wasn't on the bus, he was on the farm. You could drive by any time and see him working on a tractor, loading hay into the barn, helping a neighbor with car trouble, or chatting with the many people who used to pull in to see Bob on a regular basis. If you didn't have time to stop, you could always drive by and toot the horn. His hand would go up like a reflex to wave hello!
When we purchased our hobby farm in 1996, Bob was one of the first neighbors we met. Every time Cliff made a machinery purchase for our farm, Bob was his consultant. Bob knew everything about tractors and balers and rakes and hay wagons and...and...I could go on forever. We bale hay every summer and Bob was always on call. Something always broke and it seemed that rain was always threatening. Even if Bob was in the middle of baling his own hay on one of the many fields he hayed every summer, he would still drop everything to "bail" us out. He could immediately assess the problem and 9 times out of 10 he could fix the problem. If he needed a part, he seemed to always have an extra at his barn. We seriously couldn't be "farmers" without Bob. He was a wealth of farming knowledge. Farming was his passion and it was contagious.
It is certainly an end of an era with Bob's passing. It is difficult to drive by the farm now knowing he is not there. I know he is in a better place where the hay grows high, the sun always shines, and the John Deere never fails. I know when we bale this summer, I'm not going to be worried about the rain. We have someone upstairs who will be rooting for us! Thanks for all the memories, Bob. You will not be forgotten. <3