No matter where you were on September 11, 2001 you seen the terrorist attacks on our country. Some of us watched it from our home, others like myself watched it from work. But for Vickie Welsh, she watched the events of that day unfold from the maternity ward at Nason Hospital. “It’s was interesting. The nurses and doctors were glued to what what going on. It was like; oh she’s having a baby.” Vickie said with a laugh
On September 11, 2001 in the midst of a plane crashing into a corn field an hour away, to a building on the east coast collapsing, Vickie gave birth to her first child, Luke at 9:49 a.m. “I remember as I heard what was happening and thinking what was it going to be like bringing my child into this world.”, Vickie said.
For many, particularly those directly affected, that day is filled with bad memories. For the Welsh family it’s a day of blessing. But this edition of “People of the Cove” is not so much about Luke being born on 9/11 in the middle of chaos. Though I like to think and be reminded that in everything bad, there is always something good.
No, this edition of “People of the Cove” is about a young man names Luke Welsh.
Driving through the Cove it’s clear that farming is every where, and for the Welsh family, it’s there lifestyle. When I walked up to their door I was greeted by Luke. Here stood a young man in jeans, baseball hat, boots and a plaid shirt many of see from Carhartt. Typical country boy? Too be honest my first impression was; typical country boy. But I’ve learned not to allow first impressions to dictate the direction of someones identity.
As I sat and listened to Luke and his mom talk about the day he was born I also got to know Luke for the young man he is today. His dad is a mechanic and so Luke is left during the day caring for and running the farm. Luke said; “It’s a love/ hate relationship. I don’t always like getting up early and some days the work can be hard, but when you see new calves being born you love it.”
I asked Luke what he enjoys doing when he’s not busy working the farm. He went on to tell me about fishing in the creek that runs through their property, hunting with his dad and playing football. Luke is driven and it was evident as I spent time with him around the farm. So it came as no surprise when he talked about his dream of playing football for the Northern Bedford Black Panthers. His mom Vickie said; “Luke loves to play and he’s good at it. If he could play for them now he would.” I asked Luke what position he likes to play and he told me tackle. No surprise there, because though Luke is a only in the eighth grade he’s a big guy. I know as for me, I would not want to get hit by him.
We talked about his favorite hobbies, and what he likes to do after working the farm all day to unwind. Vickie then shared; “I’m proud of Luke for his hard working attitude for his age. He’s not afraid to work, to help out where needed, and to do so without being told.”
Luke talked about his dad, a hard working guy tending two jobs. A mechanic as well as a beef farmer. Luke said; “My dad is tough but it’s a good kind of tough. One moment he can be dad, joking and wrestling around. The next he’s a teacher, a tough teacher.” It was clear from our conversation how Luke feels about his dad. In his voice I heard words such a respect, honor and love. It was refreshing really. Today we hear so much negative about teenagers, and how they can be disrespectful and rude. Maybe for some, being tough is not their way, Vickie said they are old school. But for Luke it’s the only way he’s known and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “He teaches me about life. About working for it, and being proud of what you do.”, Luke said with a smile referring to his dad.
As I continued to listen, I was drawn back to when I was Luke’s age with my dad. I was reminded of those days my dad was tough on me. Maybe I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but as I got older and continue to get wiser, those moments of tough lessons are being put into practice. The thing is…for Luke I could see, he’s already putting those tough lesson to use.
When I asked about what Luke thinks he wants to do for the future his mom responded; “I’m proud of how he looks to the future. He wants to go into the military.” Maybe it’s prophetic, being born on 9/11 and his desire to serve his country, but as his mom finished sharing I could see where Luke’s passion really stands. Luke takes pride in farming, his country, and his family.
I spent the rest of my visit walking around the Welsh farm listening to Luke tell me about and show me his daily work around the farm. I was so impressed with his knowledge I commented to his mom; “It’s like he’s the boss around here. He’s knows exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done and it just gets done.” Vickie replied with a serious chuckle; “During the day he is the boss. I don’t need to worry about things getting done. If his dad texts with something to be done. Luke gets it done.”
So why Luke Welsh? You might be thinking he’s just another Cove country boy. Maybe so, but after spending time with him I learned Luke represents others like him that we don’t know. And that’s what “People of the Cove” is about, getting to know the everyday person. I believe Luke, like many others his age in the Cove can set an example for their generation of what it means to work hard. That if you want something in life you have to work for it, have a positive attitude and be proud of what you do.
As for Luke’s future; before he goes off to defend his country with pride, I am looking forward to some day watching him on the Northern Bedford Black Panthers football field defending his team. Go get ’em Luke!